SBC caught up with Valery Bollier of Oulala, a daily fantasy sports company sponsoring Betting on Football 2017 (3-5 May). We had a chat about why football matters to their business, why they’ve moved to sponsor Betting on Football this year and which parts of the Stamford Bridge conference agenda he is most looking forward to.
SBC: Why is football important to your organisation?
Valery: Football is key for Oulala because we are a Daily Fantasy Football game specializing in European Football. This means that our customers are able to create their team and simultaneously pick players from the English, the Spanish, the Italian and the French leagues. Additionally, when it comes to football clubs, Europe is the epicentre of the world with the best Brazilians, Cameroonians, Koreans and Australians currently playing in European teams; thus our game is attracting football fans from all over the world.
Without football, Oulala simply would not exist.
SBC: From a consumer perspective how is football betting changing?
Valery: I can mostly discuss the young customers and the millennials because they are the ones that we have studied for more than four years. Their expectations are very different from the ones of their parents. They are looking to play skill games, because they have been raised playing fantastic skill games on their consoles. They are also seeking games that are structurally social because they were raised having constant social interactions on their cell phones and they are far more aversive towards playing against the house than the older generations ever were.
Football betting therefore has to adapt to this new demand and Daily Fantasy Sports are matching their expectations perfectly. DFS are the sports betting of the new generations.
SBC: How can betting & football stakeholders work better and more effectively together?
Valery: We need to build more efficient bridges between the two industries, and iGaming operators should not be seen only as financial partners because our sector has a lot more to offer.
European football clubs need to learn how to optimize their digital strategy and this is typically a “know how” that can be transferred from the iGaming sector to the football industry. For instance, Oulala signed a partnership with LCFC eighteen months ago. Together, we are building a strategy to transform their social fans into loyal unique visitors of their site. It is a win-win situation because our interests are perfectly aligned.
SBC: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact on football as a sport?
Valery: Big Data is without a doubt a massive game changer for the football industry.
Up until recently, football was looked at more as an art than a science. The ability to create, live and analyse the thousands of statistics in a football match already has a huge impact on our sport, and will go on to be even more radical in the near future.
Big Data offers Oulala the ability to be a real skill game, which is the cornerstone of the promise that we are making to our customers, and thanks to the efficient work from our statistician team, our game is also an efficient predictive tool.
SBC: As a delegate, what key agenda, debate or discussion do you want to hear at BOFCON 2017?
Valery: I would be interested in having discussions about the expectations of the younger generations. The iGaming sector is offering products that are responding to the needs of the older generations, but they do not seem ready to fully adapt themselves to the new world that we are soon facing; after all, in 2020, 50% of our customers will be millennials.