FanDuel Flexes Creative Muscle With Deepfake Young Charles Barkley NBA Promo

  • The ads feature a young deepfake Barkley and the present-day man himself interacting
  • Phoenix Suns-era Barkley will advise bettors to “think like a player” when wagering
  • Barkley’s first FanDuel promo saw him appear as Saint Chuck in December 2020
FanDuel logo on phone
FanDuel is seeking to outdo its Rob Gronkowski Super Bowl ad for creativity after it announced a new NBA playoffs promotion starring Charles Barkley and a 1990s deepfake version of himself. [Image:]

You’ve got to hand it to FanDuel’s marketing and creative department. Not content with a 70% increase in new signups courtesy of Rob Gronkowski’s “Kick of Destiny,” FanDuel is taking its market disruption drive a step further in its upcoming NBA advertising campaigns featuring two Charles Barkleys.

The Flutter-owned sports betting giant’s “Think Like a Player” campaign features a young deepfake of the basketball Hall of Famer. Barkley senior then interacts with his younger self, as this teaser video for the NBA playoffs shared by FanDuel on Twitter revealed:

In a world in which AI-run podcast Dudesy can create a chillingly real hour-long standup special starring Tom Brady, anything seems possible.

According to a press release, FanDuel is using the Barkley ad campaign “to flex our creative muscle” and to show how the sportsbook can “reach its target audience in unique ways.”

deepfake-generated version of the NBA great from the 1990s when he played for the Phoenix Suns

Like the teaser promo, the full campaign will feature the real Barkley and a deepfake-generated version of the NBA great from the 1990s when he played for the Phoenix Suns. During the NBA play-in tournament and through the conference finals, Young Chuck will encourage FanDuel customers to “think like a player” when placing their bets.

The Sports Emmy Award-winning analyst has been a FanDuel ambassador since December 2020 and his first promotional outing as Saint Chuck. His Young Chuck promo ends on June 18, when the concluding ad goes live during the NBA Finals.

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