Tipico

Harnessing AI and Succeeding on a Mission to Win Ohio

1

The Backdrop

The doors to online sports betting were about to open in one of the most sport-centric states in the US — Ohio. Tipico, the virtually unknown sportsbook with European roots, had its sights set on breaking into the top 5.

The sports betting giant had built a commanding presence in Europe and with two U.S. states under their belt, Tipico was faced with a rare opportunity: On Jan 1, 2023, Ohio would legalize sports betting meaning Tipico could be a first mover in the market.

Tipico engaged Code and Theory as AOR to lead an integrated campaign to capitalize on the moment and bring Tipico to market. Armed with ambitious goals for awareness and acquisition, the ask was simple: Win Ohio.

The "Bet Like You’re From Ohio" campaign would go on to beat every one of Tipico's goals. We effectively harnessed AI to create Ohioan personas, and created campaign assets that spoke to Ohio sports fans the same way they speak to each other.

Impact

  • +40K Registrations, representing 57% of the annual target in one month
  • Achieved 32% share of voice in Ohio
  • The Drum Awards Winner for Best Use of AI
Tipico Hero

More Than A Flyover State

To earn the trust of Ohioans, we first had to understand Ohio. What became clear fast was that Ohio has a chip on its shoulder. On a good day, Ohio is viewed by the rest of the country as average; on a bad day, as a flyover state that’s the butt of the joke. And as a sporting mecca, the sports industry just views it as ‘a market’.

But its residents know there’s more to their home state than meets the eye. It’s the birthplace of the most US presidents, the NFL, modern aviation, Neil Armstrong, Superman.

So when sportsbooks descended on the state with a universal attempt to sanitize sports betting, making it feel like it’s ‘for everyone’, we ensured Tipico took a different approach.

Frame 5

Harnessing AI for Audience Personas

Faced with an extremely tight turnaround, we tapped into AI using ChatGPT for persona development. A process that would often take weeks took us less than 48 hours. We created three living AI personas — Jay “The VIP Bettor”, Eric “The Ambitious Amateur”, Josh “The Social Bettor.” These synthetic humans answered our questions, and we leveraged this real-time data to better inform everything we did.

The AI personas continued to mature thanks to app and Web site data. The outputs proved so effective in producing what we call '4th party data' (1st and 3rd party data + AI = 4th party data) that we’ve implemented this system for all of our work ever since.

Tipico Frame 4

Tradition. Sports. Social.

We paired our AI persona generation scouring Reddit forums, Ohio meme Instagram accounts, Facebook posts, Twitter threads, giving us a pulse for the rhythm, language, dreams, and nemeses of the Ohio sports bettor.

We launched the “Bet Like You’re From Ohio” campaign to speak to Ohioans the same way they speak to each other, tapping into hyperlocal art and relatable messaging that positioned Tipico as an authentic partner to bettors across the state.

Tipico Ads Snapshot

Engaging Fans Across Their Ecosystem

Based on our pulse on Ohio sports fans and the strategic launch at the start of the new year in 2023, we activated Bet Like You're From Ohio across our audience’s entire connected ecosystem, launching custom, vivid creative through digital, social, and traditional media along within the app itself.

Beyond the media plan, we also tapped Tipico’s partnership with MLS’s Columbus Crew. Deploying OOH and in-stadium screens during key season games at home, we firmly rooted the brand in the landmarks that mean the most to local fans. Finally, we extended the campaign through league-specific fandom moments, like the MLB season opening and the Super Bowl.

Making a Lasting Impact

Tipico posters

Bet Like You’re From Ohio highlighted deep-seeded motivations, cultural nods, and inside jokes that color the vast and complex tapestry of Ohio fandom that defines the state.

Most of all, it reflected the culture of Ohio sports fans and bettors, empowering fans across the spectrum. On a budget nowhere near its legacy competitors, we helped Tipico ultimately meet an impossible ambition — securing this newcomer as a fierce challenger to the legacy American sportsbooks.

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We Are a Technology-First Creative Agency

What We Do

Code and Theory is a strategically driven, digital-first agency that lives at the intersection of creativity and technology. We solve consumer and business problems with end-to-end solutions that flex to meet the needs of today’s ever-changing digital landscape.

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Code and Theory is a proud member of Stagwell Group. Stagwell is the challenger network built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our 13,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com