Actor Martin Lawrence Talks New DraftKings Sportsbook Ad, Betting Habits

Posted By Brant James on August 26, 2021

Martin Lawrence has been a boundary-pushing stand-up comic, the foundation of movie franchise about an undercover FBI agent/grandma and one half of the “Bad Boys.” Now, he’s featured as the symbolic thumb on the bet button in the new DraftKings Sportsbook ad campaign entitled “The Feels.”

The final-decision-making part of the sports bettor brain, Lawrence has to wrangle “Confidence,” represented by Kristen Schall, “Indecision,” (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), “Logic” (Timothy Simons) and “Chill” (Dascha Polanco) before finally making a decision on whether the Giants are actually going to do the right thing against the Eagles.

In an era when both retired athletes and movie stars are shilling for gambling companies, Lawrence is so far the highest-profile entertainer in a national television campaign.

Jamie Foxx would certainly give him a run, but BetMGM hasn’t splashed the actor/comedian on TV screens like DraftKings already has and will continue to do entering NFL betting season.


PlayUSA spoke with Lawrence via email for his thoughts on sports betting in general and the DraftKings campaign in particular.

PlayUSA: Are you an active bettor?
ML: I used to bet in Vegas quite frequently and shoot craps, however today I would categorize myself as a conservative bettor. Every now and again I will get a game of craps in with family and friends for fun.

What’s your best/worst bet?
My best bets are the ones that I won, or where I walked away breaking even. Of course the worst bets were the ones I lost.

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How much does your personality in the commercial reflect your personality in reality when making a bet?
In the commercial I play The Maestro and I would never consider myself an expert in betting. I don’t bet as much as I did back in the day as I am a more conservative bettor now but I still have a blast when I do bet.

Would you have imagined doing sports betting commercials just a few years ago?
I have always loved a variety of sports. When I received the call to do this, I was excited because “It’s about sports.” As a sports fan, what else can you ask for? The commercial gave me the opportunity to showcase a different side of myself.  It was my first commercial and I had a great time.

Photo by Draftkings Sportsbook
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Brant James

Brant James is a veteran journalist who has twice been recognized in the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, most recently in 2020. He's covered motorsports, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball among a myriad of others beats and written enterprise and sports business for publications including USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com.

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