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Monday, August 1, 2011

Florida Lottery set to get facelift

It was 25 years ago when Florida state voters enthusiastically approved the new and exciting state-run gambling organization known as the Florida Lottery. But now, some of the sizzle has turned into fizzle.

Today's Florida Lottery is struggling to stay up-to-date with the times causing sales to slip away from the gambling giant. Nowadays Indian-run casinos and online gambling websites are enticing new customers and luring them away from the potential instant gratifying scratch-offs and lucky number lottery tickets.

In order for the Florida Lottery to get over its mid-life crisis Gov. Rick Scott enlisted branding expert and former UF trustee Cynthia O’Connell to help boost sales. “We’re going to look at everything we do and see how we can give it a brand refresh,” O'Connell says.

Beginning this fall, the agency will unveil fresh new ways like adding a VIP loyalty club program that will reward frequent players in hopes to gain back the interest of past customers and better reach the 18 year and older demographic. Redesigning the outdated neon website so it is easier to navigate is also a top priority for the organization. The Florida Lottery will also jump onto the social media bandwagon by establishing official Facebook and Twitter pages to reach new customers and update the community with winning numbers. Even the iconic vintage 1980s flamingo logo will be put under the magnifying glass and will be refreshed.

Still with a fiscal year ending with over $4 billion, lottery ticket sales are down by 4 percent since 2007-08. “Our player base is ... they’re not getting any younger,” O'Connell said. “We want to make sure that we have a strong and vibrant player base.”

According to Jeff Anderson, Idaho Lottery executive director and president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, "Change is necessary", and “and you don’t see McDonald’s doing the same advertising campaign with the same tag line and themes as they were 10 years ago.”

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