WINNER 2023 | Category: Audio Branding


Sonic Lens Agency



The Sound of DRAFTKINGS Network is part of an extensive “synchronized branding” collaboration between sonic and design teams to provide modular A/V integration across hundreds of assets and dozens of digital video and audio channels. The Network delivers breaking infotainment in areas like Tech, NFTs, Investing, Entrepreneurs, Gaming, and Crypto.


The Sound of DRAFTKINGS NETWORK is an extensive, first of its kind Sonic Identity System created for an online sports betting company looking to expand its reach and deliver fresh infotainment to a growing “skin in the game” audience across areas like Tech, NFTs, Investing, Entrepreneurs, Gaming and Crypto. The network launched in March 2023 across multiple digital visual and audio channels with various shows and podcasts, with plans to grow into broadcast.

The most unique aspect of this branding project was a “synchronized branding” process – a pure collaboration of sonic and design working as one team. Both sides participated from day one in each other’s research, discovery and analysis, co-designed a holistic A/V branding strategy, co-led client workshopping sessions, and had constant influence on each other’s work throughout development. The result is an extremely flexible, and modular A/V branding system that the client referred to as a “big beautiful brand hug”.

As a foundation, we needed to develop a musical language with cultural relevance to target groups within our “skin in the game” audience. Research revealed that EDM had the highest affinity across all audience verticals, and “trap” music did the best job evoking our core brand values of “fresh, curious, electric, knowing, and approachable” and our “fun, modern, rebellious, edgy” personality. This highly creative, experimental style allowed us to craft a unique sound (78% tested replied “very unique”) and we worked with touring DJs to get a legitimate, spontaneous feel that outperforms all our brand values in focus testing.

One sonic branding ‘first’ was using a device called the “Drop” where a DJ builds the crowd’s excitement into a frenzy, leaves them hanging for a moment of suspense, and then DROPS them into an intense moment of satisfaction. This became our formula for our mnemonic and core to the overall A/V brand strategy. The ’Drop’ formula allows our mnemonic to convey the DKN consumer experience of the building ANTICIPATION of breaking content to a moment of SUSPENSE and then delivering a satisfying PAYOFF of receiving cutting edge infotainment. Having a ‘formula’ define our mnemonic allows DKN to flex it in limitless ways to meet various categories or cues.

Another sonic branding ‘first’ was infusing actual ELECTRICITY into the brand’s sonic DNA. As ‘electric’ was a top brand value used to describe the speed and excitement of the brand experience, we recorded various sounds of electricity and created unique virtual instruments in order to ‘run an electric current’ through the brand sound, making it possible to viscerally feel the buzz of excitement and speed of culture that DKN delivers. This first of its kind “synchronized” branding system is modular and designed to grow. Tracks created for verticals (i.e. sports and news) result in sub toolkits added to an extensive sonic ID system containing hundreds of clearly organized assets.

Project video