Lottery director speaks about industry
Published: Monday, February 13, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 00:02
Tom Trella, Connecticut Lottery director of games, gave a presentation at the Marketing Society meeting on Monday, speaking to students about the challenges of marketing and branding in the lottery industry.
"There's a lot of changes going on in the lottery world," said Marketing Society president Jesse Rifkin, a 4th-semester political science and journalism double major. "He's seen so much and he had a lot of interesting things to say."
"Marketers working with the CT Lottery face an unusual challenge in that they are selling a product with unique qualities," Trella told the Marketing Society. He described the different types of lottery games: draw games, where the winning numbers are announced at a given time, and instant games, where the winnings are uncovered on scratch cards. The most popular of these games is Powerball, he told the audience. "Powerball is a game where you play for a very large Jackpot," Trella said. "This game is a big fundrasier and adds a lot of revenue to the bottom line."
Trella shared his marketing techniques with the audience, explaining the strategies the lottery employed to sell its tickets. One such technique was the use of point-of-sale materials to encourage people to buy lottery tickets while waiting at checkout lines. "Our product is almost an impulse buy," Trella said.
"Other aspects of the Connecticut Lottery's advertising campaign included radio and television commercials," Trella said. "Our advertisements usually feature people because we want the viewer to want to be that person who wins the jackpot."
However, Trella's experiences extended beyond the realm of the lottery. As a UConn graduate himself, Trella has had 25 years of experience in advertising agencies throughout Connecticut. While the focus of the lecture was on lottery marketing, Trella shared anecdotes from a variety of industries ranging from casinos to tourism.
"Working at the lottery is a unique challenge," Trella said. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a company that sells a billion dollars of anything to the people of Connecticut." He also said that the Connecticut Lottery also generated revenue for the general funds, which was rewarding in itself.
"This guy brings in millions of dollars to be used for fire departments, schools and helpful things for the state," Rifkin said. "He is trying to sell his product and his product in turn helps educate our students, pay for police departments, pave our roads and repair our bridges. This is terrific work that this man does and I hope that's the thing that people get from this meeting more than anything else."