“Brazil 2014 is over and with it the reason customers were flocking to your website. So what now? It’s just not good enough to say: “Thank you, and see in five weeks on Saturday 16th August for the start of the new English Premier League season.”
It’s now that the essential post-World Cup strategies need to kick in so that customers gained through the world’s biggest football tournament remain engaged with your brand until the commencement of the domestic season.
The smarter operators will have offered a percentage of cashback on World Cup stakes or losses to be placed in the customers’ accounts this week for a positive afterglow. But the industry still needs to cater for the fact that this will be a period without topclass football to bet on.
One way around it is to concentrate on the transfer market which should come alive post-World Cup, now the best players in the world are no longer distracted by their national teams. The best performers at Brazil 2014 will no doubt be targeted by cash-rich EPL clubs – Alexis Sanchez has already secured a big money move to Arsenal and it’s fair to assume he won’t be the last.
It’s important for sportsbooks to embrace this period, usually covered so enthusiastically by Sky Sports News. What will be Player X’s new club? Where will Player Y be by the end of the transfer window?
Social media will come into its element here. Having a dedicated resource within marketing to engage with punters, giving them regular updates on potential and confirmed transfers with relevant odds on both outcomes, can be a significant retention tool, and could encourage a bet. A section dedicated to transfers on the website can drive great value.
It’s basically a case of never switching off, then anticipating the biggest transfer of the summer. We’ve already had Luis Surarez to Barcelona and we can follow this up with football traders pricing up markets for this player’s performance the following season for the marketers to push to its existing base. For instance, will Suarez score over or under 25 goals in La Liga? The close working relationship between the football trading team and marketing/operations teams is therefore critical.
Club managerial markets are also sure to be busy. If positions are still open post-World Cup, then showcasing odds on these markets while at the same time engaging with the customer base with relevant content will assist in keeping you front of mind.
Another strategy post World Cup is to encourage cross sell to other big sporting events, the Open Golf Championship or cricket tests between England v India. Pre-event for the Open Golf can be popular with the new acquired base of players, plus both events have huge potential to encourage in-play bets.
Finally, football friendlies are important player retention tools, with more and more being shown live as many of the EPL teams jet off – often minus their World Cup stars – around the world for commercial reasons, plus promoting ante-post markets as customers pick their League winners for season 2014/15.
For some its money tied up until next May, for others it’s a yearly bet they always have. It’s just a case of making sure they have it with you.”