Digital Fuel Marketing is sponsoring Betting on Football 2017, the fourth edition of the largest international football and betting trade conference at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge.
Ahead of the 3-5 May event, we spoke to Digital Fuel Account Director Andy Scott about why football is such an attractive sport for betting, how the market is changing from a consumer perspective and how betting and football stakeholders can work more effectively together.
SBC: Why is football such an attractive sport for betting?
AS: Primarily, football is an attractive sport for punters to bet on for the very same reasons that it became the most popular sport in the world – accessibility.
With so much live football both TV and streamed, betting adds an extra level of engagement in fixtures that without such exposure might otherwise be a bit irrelevant. This might be highlighted by sports that are matched in terms of betting market options and structure but simply don’t get the wider coverage to allow punters to become fully engaged.
There is so much data available to the general public to formulate opinion and no shortage of experts giving reason for a particular outcome that the consumer is going into every transaction feeling more empowered than ever. As Leicester proved last season, nothing is beyond the realms of possibility, games can change in an instant and it is a sport fuelled by opinion, passion and rivalry.
SBC: From a consumer perspective, how is football betting changing?
AS: Betting on football has never been more exciting for the punter. As incumbent tier one operators fight hard to retain their base and new challenger brands enter with both product and promotional innovation, you simply can’t afford to be left behind when it comes to your football product and how you market it – great from a consumer’s perspective.
As brands identify new ways to harness the power of 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data, the packaging and relevance of content is subtly enhancing the experience for football consumers and moving the industry away from a reliance on promotions to retain.
SBC: How can betting & football stakeholders work better and more effectively together?
AS: Consumer engagement is what all parties are looking for and I think there is a huge opportunity to work closer to better understand the audiences that we are talking to.
Rightly so, there are big concerns around the level of betting exposure young football fans are subjected to, but technology allows us to profile and target users based on their demographic and wider preferences. Just because you are a 24–35 year old male that likes football, it does not mean that you like to bet.
This is extremely important for clubs and organisations that are looking to personalise their experience in ways that betting operators have been successfully doing for years.
We are constantly looking for new ways to acquire and retain our desirable consumer and through more strategic partnerships; there is certainly an opportunity to improve the wider content strategy and thus user experience.
SBC: What new technology do you feel will have the biggest impact on football betting?
AS: From a marketing perspective, It is going to be interesting to see the impact of VAR. We have seen in other sports the opportunity for additional advertising during the review break. Will this be an opportunity to bring programmatic advertising opportunities in-play both in stadium and on TV?
I am extremely excited and interested by the way search is advancing, particularly the rapid progression of machine learning, which is adding a new layer of context to what the user is looking for. Combining this technology with voice controlled assistants (VCA) and you could have an extremely immersive betting experience.
Imagine a scenario where you are watching Spurs win and ask your VCA what the price of Harry Kane to score next is? The response “Harry Kane is currently priced at 3/1 to score next and has hit the net in 4 of his last 5 games scoring with 30% of his shots, would you like to place a £10 bet?” Adding context to a betting option and pulling in a user’s previous betting behaviour data could be extremely powerful – all without having to scroll, click or look away from the match.
More immediately, advancements in geo-marketing and data management technology is allowing us to engage punters at a time when they are far more likely to respond. Again, utilising the power of data in ways that haven’t before been possible, means that we are in a far better position to improve product and communication and the appeal to a wider audience.
SBC: What key agenda, debate or discussion do you want to hear at BOFCON 2017?
AS: Given the work that we do at Digital Fuel, there are plenty of interesting topics around consumer engagement and I’ll be keen to hear thoughts around content marketing strategies.
With an interest in multiple territories, there will be a few market profile sessions that I will be dropping in on for any insight that might impact Digital Fuel and our clients as we look to capitalise on new opportunities.