Andrew McCarron – BOFCON – Industry prepares for Euro 2016

BOFCON logoThis year’s Betting on Football Conference at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea FC, is now just 2 weeks away.

And despite his busy schedule, SBC Managing Director Andrew McCarron took some time out to answer a few questions about the upcoming event.

This includes major discussion points for the industry, Euro 2016 focus and the key expected takeaways for those in attendance on Thursday, 21st April.

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SBC: You will be hosting your third BOFCON at Stamford Bridge (21 April); what key industry agenda, discussion and debate do you want to highlight at this knowledge-led conference?

AM: SBC has strategically hosted #BOFCON before the start of the Euro 2016 France, which will be a huge revenue generator for all operators.

From an agenda standpoint, our team always places a high emphasis on betting commercial and operational opportunities attached to its football as a market. (Check out the schedule here http://sbcevents.co.uk/fixture-list/) What we are also trying to do is shed insight on new and existing consumer trends and impacts which operators and stakeholders are actively engaging with during Euro 2016 and beyond.

There are also important operational aspects beyond just marketing, such as the effects that free access to data and results this season in particular has had on trading and also the important aspect of keeping out crime and making sure the betting industry is doing all it can in making sure the game’s integrity isn’t impacted.

Finally, the event will outline the industry’s potential growth initiatives through new products and innovations such as fantasy sports and supplier innovations.

SBC: How do you see the relationship between football and betting evolving and what new values are being created between the industry and the sport?

AM:  As the English Premier League prepares for its most lucrative season ever, the betting industry is likely to record a higher spend on football marketing and sponsorship initiatives.

Nevertheless, from our research on BOFCON’s agenda, we feel that operators are seeking distinct opportunities attached to football partnerships as a commercial asset, this is a key value for betting firms.

Furthermore, as a betting market football has to develop itself into an omni-channel asset in-line with long term needs of the operators.

Finally, and most importantly, football stakeholders and the betting industry have to work more closely together to combat match fixing, which is becoming a key agenda for industry governance.

SBC: You have strategically hosted the event two months before UEFA Euro 2016 championships, why was this date important to your show and its content?

AM: So much of the focus this year will be the Championships as it provides such a heightened awareness of the sport and, by association, betting. Business generated during these summer international tournaments has the ability to keep some operators going for a few years.

Plus, there is now much more importance in retaining the new custom for the following domestic football season rather than just the windfall revenues from the tournament itself. We believe that clubs can help bookmakers ‘MIND THE GAP’ between the tournament and the leagues’ kicking off by providing engaging content that a football fan will be interested in.

It’s not unusual for a BOFCON to be held at this point. When we launched the first Betting on Football Conference in 2014 it was held in early May before that summer’s World Cup.

SBC: Previous Betting on Football events have had high attendance from industry and football executives and governance; how has your conference gained this appeal?

AM: In its two prior events BOFCON has reached an executive level attendance of 85%, which is very pleasing.

When we started BOFCON, myself and Rasmus Sojmark (Founder of SBC) wanted to create a betting show with a high emphasis on learning and knowledge sharing between betting and its core market.

Having an agenda relevant to operator’s day to day operations and which sheds light and differing opinion on market impacts and debates user trends at a high level, is key to BOFCON’s overall appeal.

Since we know our audience and realise that it is critical for betting to cover new ground, we felt that this was not being met by other industry conferences.

SBC: Finally, what key take-aways do you want attending BOFCON delegates to take away from this conference?

AM: As an event BOFCON will always be geared towards bringing the football and betting industries closer together through knowledge sharing, insight and discussion.

The importance of football as a market should not be understated, it has to be examined, analysed and understood by all stakeholders involved in order to continue growth in a highly saturated market.

However we are also hoping to make an experience to remember. We have the best coffee of any industry event provided by Putney-based Grind, which is sponsored by Editec, and we also have a handful of competitions in the evening, including the first ever SBC Foosball Championships, sponsored by Betradar, where the winner will take home the fussball table! We also have an inplay trading competition running alongside the Arsenal v WBA match in the evening, which is sponsored by Metric Gaming.

We also have to thank all our supporters for the event as it’s their backing that makes this event possible. Optima are our Platinum Sponsors, while Golden Race are our Gold Sponsors, BetConstruct our Silver Sponsors and Perform Group our Bronze Sponsors. Our other sponsors include: SBTech,  EnergyCasino, iSoftbet, ColossusBets, SportradarCaptive Media & Digitonic, iSportGenius and Digital Fuel.

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