ESPN BET launches ad campaign featuring Stephen A. Smith


ESPN BET, the official sportsbook of ESPN, has debuted “Pool Hall,” a new commercial featuring First Take Commentator/Executive Producer & NBA Countdown Analyst, Stephen A. Smith. Pool Hall is the first of two new ESPN BET commercials starring the popular morning show personality.

The spot is the second playoff-focused commercial from ESPN BET, highlighting the excitement around the big plays and make or break moments that define the postseason. Pool Hall showcases Stephen A. in his element, debating the importance of closing out a playoff series while making his own rules to close out a billiards match.

The creative also highlights in-game betting featured on ESPN BET.

“We’re thrilled to introduce this new ad spot, which marks Stephen A. Smith’s debut in our ESPN BET commercial creative,” said Jennifer Weissman, Chief Marketing Officer, PENN Entertainment. “Featuring such a recognizable talent in Stephen A., who is at the epicenter of the daily sports conversation, further strengthens the connection between media and betting with the ESPN and ESPN BET brands.”

Pool Hall plays into ESPN BET’s “What a Play.” campaign theme of how fan-driven sports narratives create engaging betting moments, and is the seventh original spot of the campaign that began with the sportsbook’s launch in November 2023. 

Smith joins a host of ESPN talent featured within advertisements over the past seven months, including SportsCenter Anchor Scott Van Pelt, ESPN NBA Analyst Kendrick Perkins, ESPN Get Up Host Mike Greenberg, ESPN SportsCenter Commentator and Sports Betting Analyst “Stanford” Steve Coughlin, and SportsCenter host Elle Duncan. 

The spots are developed in collaboration with creative agency Arts & Letters.