Victor Sevciuc is Business Development Manager at Xtremepush and is one of our Sports Betting & Gaming specialists. Victor attended ICE London at the start of the month and found there were three key topics of discussion.

ICE London is the largest B2B online and offline gaming conference in the world, and it continues to grow every year and this year was no exception. With numerous meetings booked before we entered the ExCel London, I knew it was going to be a busy few days. While I had many different meetings with different people discussing many topics, there were three main topics that really stood out for me.

1.Real-time functionality

In-play betting first appeared towards the end of the 1990s (source) when some bookmakers would take bets over the telephone whilst a sports event was in progress, and has now evolved into a popular online service in many countries.

It’s no surprise that these days, with the rise of the mobile channel, “in-play” is even more popular. Players can place bets anywhere while watching sporting events or after hearing about the latest scoreline from another source.

From a marketing perspective, this brings the opportunity for sportsbooks to become “that other source” by understanding the behaviour of each individual and layering it with real-time sporting events.

To do this at a granular enough level with the ability to provide the customer with the information they want and betting offers they are likely to have an interest in, Sportsbooks would need to layer data from sources such as:

  • The data warehouse
  • The marketing tool
  • The sporting event itself
  • The current location of the customer

This is what will enable something as advanced as sending a “half-time score” notification with updated odds to a customer who has placed a bet before the game or better yet “visited the stadium of the home team” in the past few months.

Marketers of the betting and gaming industry know the value of personalisation very well. I heard some amazing use cases during my latest visit to ICE, most of which can be achieved with careful layering of analytics from multiple sources and the ability to engage with the customer on multiple channels.

2. The US Market

As you all know, the recent change in United States law has led to a gold rush in the gaming industry as numerous companies scramble to set up sports gambling operations.

People enjoying betting on the outcome of sports competitions hasn’t existed for the past 25 years in the U.S. to the same extent as in Europe, and the renewed interest has revealed an infrastructural void in the American gaming industry. Technological innovations have not been applied to sports gambling, so companies are now playing catch up. The results will shape an industry estimated to be worth billions of dollars (source) every year.

The key to this market, like many others, lies in online interactions and mobile technology in particular, which can increase the opportunity to make small, casual bets from anywhere.

For a B2C marketing automation provider, this means many new opportunities, two of which I discussed most at ICE this year would be:

  1. U.S. based Sportsbook providers looking to learn and apply the latest smart digital marketing technology which has been developing in Europe.
  2. European based Sportsbooks looking to move into the US and utilise what they have learned and developed to grab a piece of the pie.

The above brings me to the next big talking point this year.

3. Focus on “Partnerships with Experts”

With so many companies looking to seize a share of new opportunities in a limited space of time, an efficient strategy of “partnering with experts” is emerging and proving more successful than the time-consuming process of building in-house solutions.

Developing, maintaining and constantly improving proprietary digital marketing software is proving to be a costly challenge for even some of the larger players in the industry.

Many sportsbooks and sportsbook providers are now leaning towards partnering with experts in digital marketing with flexible, easily integratable solutions. The experience of the marketer is as important as the technology, making it possible to personalise interactions with the customer, so close account management and consultation was also a popular topic.

Many of these conversations are still ongoing. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the topics above, please find me on LinkedIn or email me at victor@xtremepush.com.