With the world of fantasy sports an increasingly busy marketplace SBC’s Sam Cooke spoke to FanTeam CEO Kristoffer Zvickell about what it takes to stand out, and some of the differences between the US and European markets.
SBC: As the fantasy sports market grows ever more crowded how are FanTeam intending to stand out to appeal to customers?
Kristoffer: First and foremost we believe that there is still a huge market out there for Daily Fantasy Betting, the US is crowded and the UK is getting there, but most of the rest of the world is still an open field.
In terms of competition we have targeted a few specific markets for now, creating sites and offering support in native languages. Our focus is to give our customers an easy-to-use product that is available everywhere, which is why we are also about to launch our mobile apps.
SBC: Again, with such a busy marketplace, what is your strategy regarding player retention and ensuring people keep coming back to FanTeam?
Kristoffer: We will continue to focus on a wide offer that suits our target markets, we are already the sole providers for a few of our football leagues as well as fantasy poker and we are just about to launch Ice Hockey. We believe that our design, our great customer support and our offer makes a strong case for customers to join us and stand by our side going forward.
SBC: With the powers that be in the US currently scrutinizing fan fantasy sports, and Nevada now stating that a gambling license must be obtained for it, what is your take on the game of skill vs gambling debate?
Kristoffer: I believe that the difference between traditional betting and fantasy betting is very small and I do believe that the US finally caught up with the regulation rules in Europe.
Sports betting has generally been looked upon with lack of professionalism in most reports, and the fact that skill can always win you money has been seriously disregarded. Just because most people’s betting pattern tends to make their winnings lucky (as of a lottery) does not make it true for all.
SBC: With the US giants of FanDuel and DraftKings having recently entered the UK what effect has this had? Moreover, what are the differences between the European and US fantasy sports markets?
There is no secret that they are well-funded and spend a lot on marketing, so my belief is that they will help increase the awareness of Daily Fantasy betting in Europe, which is something that all will benefit from. The biggest difference is obviously that we already have an accepted sports betting culture in most countries around Europe, while legislation forbids it overseas.
As such, while fantasy sports betting is a substitute for other forms of betting in the US, we have to treat it as a complement to the already existing sportsbooks and their features. We have to focus harder on specific segments in Europe with focus on slow-pace skilled based social gaming, becoming antitheses to the ever growing fast paced live betting market.
SBC: You currently offer 12 football leagues. Are there plans afoot to expand this offering, and what are your wider plans for 2016?
Kristoffer: We are hoping to be able to add several new football leagues but also grow our portfolio with the addition of new sports. Ice Hockey will be the first one out but after that we are still currently undecided.
We want to focus on growing the awareness of daily fantasy in Europe and make sure our site offers the best product for the market. Ensuring a great mobile and tablet product as well as continuously listening to the feedback of our clients we hope that we can continue to be dynamic to any way the market might shift, it is after all still very young.