Simon Trim: Sporting Group – Beyond the Noise… Developing Russia 2018 as a long term proposition

Simon Trim Chief Executive of Sporting Group believes that betting’s legacy values on player acquisition, activation and retention need to be redeveloped if Russia 2018 is to become a genuine long-term growth and value generating prospect for industry incumbents.

This summer the general public will be inundated by sector marketing, offers and promotions. However, Trim believes that pricing strategy, player analysis and personalisation should be the sector’s guiding tools for an optimal World Cup…


SBC: Hi Simon, ahead of Russia 2018, why do industry stakeholders need to reassess and rethink bonus strategies?

Simon Trim: The digital landscape of the iGaming industry is maturing, and aggressive marketing strategies with a focus on free-bets and sign-up bonus offers have played a significant role. However, we are starting to witness a case of diminishing returns with regard to the manner and frequency with which operators and platforms are choosing to deploy them.

Price boosts and bonusing are all very well, but in essence, they are “free” goods being passed to the consumer, often with little benefit when it comes to building the distinct style and brand tone of voice that will drive long-term differentiation. With the World Cup 2018 being a distinct acquisition event, the need to reassess how customers are not only drawn into an operator’s offering but also retained by it on a long-term basis has never been more palpable. 

SBC: Is the industry really prepared to rethink its position, with regards to a legacy player acquisition and retention function such as the player bonus? Is the worry that the bonus has become a hereditary/legacy function for all operators?  

ST: A grand rethink of how players are acquired and retained with regard to bonusing is not a stage I would suggest we are at – it’s important that in refocusing these aspects of an optimal sportsbook offering that we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Bonusing continues to hold a strong position for any operator looking to acquire players, but these special offers must be deployed as part of a wider marketing strategy if they are to deliver long-term value.

Does the 2018 World Cup represent a genuine opportunity to build market-share in the long term? Or is its potential overstated?

ST: Undoubtedly, the World Cup will have a positive impact on bookmakers’ bottom-lines across the industry, but operators looking to outperform the competition and build market share will need to differentiate their brand whilst optimising margin and delivering outstanding customer experience.

For operators looking to outsource key sportsbook functions to third parties, it would be remiss to select a supplier who has never taken a bet on their own book, or put their own capital at risk, but instead offer cheaply scraped market data and prices will only result in lower customer satisfaction, weaker margin and reduced market share.

That’s why we have delivered a product range that leverages our decades of heritage in sports betting with our risk-adjusted pricing and trading solution: Risk Management Services (RMS). Flexibility and scalability is what sets RMS apart, giving operators access to a best-of-breed sportsbook solution whilst allowing them to retain control of their brand identity.

How can the risk function be leveraged to better boost player LTVs at the World Cup and beyond?

ST: Operators wanting to maximise player LTVs should adopt a two-pronged approach, utilising effective CRM tooling to better understand their client base, and the risk function to guide and implement these learnings.

Profile, our in-house analytics tool, empowers trading operations with automated, objective appraisals of customer performance, measuring “skill” and staking efficiency. These outputs are valuable core inputs to wider CRM tooling, improving customer segmentation and factoring, and allowing for more sophisticated personalisation to drive customer engagement and retention.

Profile automatically determines how prices should move based on the specific business the operator sees, rather than a proxy of information derived from market monitoring, delivering a bespoke price for each operator’s client base and liability.

Finally, how does the industry avoid another ‘race-to-the-bottom’ on bonuses, pricing and player incentives at Russia 2018?

ST: It’s important that we as an industry remember that giving away what are essentially free goods to the player is not the only way to draw them in and that a great customer experience and healthy margins can be driven by a considered pricing strategy. In recent years, caused in part by licensing issues, expensive data rights and trading capital, as well as greater competition we have witnessed a kneejerk ‘land grab’ to secure the business of customers new to the market or those transferring from the retail space.

The tools now available at established third-party suppliers, which have experience managing their own liabilities and customer profiles, can assist in driving margins back to a position which is sustainable for long-term growth in a manner that joining the race-to-the-bottom on bonusing is unable to deliver.


Simon Trim – CEO @ Sporting Group

The Betting industry’s future enterprise and operational context will be discussed at the upcoming ‘Betting on Sports Conference’ (#boscon2018 – Olympia London-17-20 September 2018). Click on the below banner for more information…


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