DraftKings Apologizes for 9/11 ‘Never Forget’ Sports Betting Parlay

DraftKings apologized on Sept. 11 for a parlay it offered sports bettors titled “Never Forget” that featured wagers on three New York teams. “Never Forget” references the way Americans honor the memory of the terror attacks 22 years ago on this day. The attacks by terrorists who hijacked planes killed nearly 3,000 Americans, primarily in New York City.

Other victims of the terror attacks died near the District of Columbia and in rural Pennsylvania.

Remains of 1,104 victims of the World Trade Center attacks still haven’t been identified, ABC News reported on Sept. 8, 2023.

However, officials did identify two more individuals killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

That’s why social media exploded regarding the DraftKings “Never Forget” parlay, calling the online gambling operator “tone deaf.”

So DraftKings tweeted at 11:49 a.m. today:

We sincerely apologize for the featured parlay that was shared briefly in commemoration of 9/11. We respect the significance of this day for our country and especially for the families of those who were directly affected.

That post came about 14 hours after sports bettors noticed it.

At 8:52 p.m. yesterday, a Boston resident tweeted a screengrab of the parlay featuring DraftKings’ “Never Forget” parlay of the New York Mets, Yankees, and Jets to win.

By the time the Boston resident tweeted the screengrab, 367 bettors had already placed the wager.

“Ongo” of Boston tweeted:

How is DraftKings promoting this on the front page??? This is insane behavior

DraftKings Followed Crisis Communications Protocol

Marketing consultants tell brand leaders that one of the best things they can do in a crisis is apologize.

DraftKings did so:


The apology referenced this parlay, which DraftKings removed from the site hours later:

What Next for DraftKings?

The next bit of advice marketing consultants offer brands, like online gambling operator DraftKings, is transparency.

DraftKings can address how this “Never Forget” parlay happened and promise it will never happen again.

The latter advice has to do with having a consistent brand voice. Decide what that voice is and stick with it. Other brands have failed miserably with this and can serve as case studies.

DraftKings leaders simply reiterated the apology and didn’t answer questions from Bonus about this subject.

Public Reactions to the DraftKings ‘Never Forget’ Parlay

Before DraftKings apologized, social media reacted:

A BetMGM staffer expressed himself:

Peter Andreu, BetMGM’s promotional marketing director, emphasizes on his Twitter bio that his opinions are his own and not those of his employer.

Another tweet blamed the media:

Public Reactions to the DraftKings Apology

After DraftKings apologized for its 9/11-themed parlay, X users hadn’t forgotten:

@DKSportsbook y’all should be ashamed and embarrassed

— Ap (@Apaull23) September 11, 2023

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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