The Genius Edge: Engage and monetise fans by differentiating your sportsbook

By Matt Stephenson | 15 Mar 2022

In the latest edition of The Genius Edge, our Global Partnerships Director Matt Stephenson sets out five strategies to help sportsbooks differentiate and transform their experience.

Sportsbooks think very differently today compared to 20 years ago, when I attended my first ever ICE. Back then volume was king – more sports, more bet types please! – but our partners are so much more sophisticated nowadays. Great content remains vital. But it’s what you do with it that really counts.

Operators are constantly looking for new ways to differentiate. With acquisition costs rising and loyalty levels low, the emphasis has shifted from volume of content to how experiences can be tailored to specific markets and even individual players.

Here are the top five biggest (and most successful) strategies we see among our partners.

  1. Hyper-localise your trading

Lowering odds margin settings is a tried-and-tested way to grow turnover. But with many operators already doing this, we recommend honing your offering by market-type so you can standout even more.

Say Total Goals and Both Teams to Score drive 50% of your football turnover. Customising your strategy on these markets, from when you open them ahead of kick-off to your overrounds, or when you suspend to how many lines you offer, will make you the go-to place to bet on them.

We regularly advise our partners to adopt aggressive in-play suspension strategies via the Genius console. Setting up for maximum uptime results in more turnover, a smoother betting experience and ultimately greater loyalty.

For international operator Tipico, this translated into over 4 minutes extra uptime per football match.

  1. Rethink your approach to streaming

Live streaming is a proven way to grow in-play turnover at off-peak times. But it can also be a powerful acquisition tool.

Streaming key regional leagues – many of which are unavailable to watch live elsewhere – helps sportsbooks get local fans on-site and increases the chance they convert into a regular customer.

This worked wonders for Czech market-leader Tipsport. “The Genius Streaming service adds a unique dimension to our product, differentiating our brand and driving new player acquisition and in-play action.” said their Chief Marketing Officer, Jan Čumpelík.

  1. Add a new growth sport

In a recent Genius client survey, 30% of sportsbooks said ‘differentiation’ is the primary reason they would add a new sport.

Emerging sports, like lacrosse, are often played at off-peak hours and have loyal, engaged fanbases. By offering odds for these sports first, operators can unlock and monetise entirely new audiences.

Futsal is a great example. Growing rapidly across South America and Europe, over 200% more sportsbooks are booking our official content this year.

  1. Give players more data

Punters require deeper content than casual fans. So while the standard level of visualisations and data points on the market engages them to a degree, this audience still turns to social media and other sports apps for their updates.

In the U.S., a number of our clients are beginning to own more of the live engagement window, utilising rich NFL data like player passing and receiving yards. This more immersive approach creates a one-stop shop for avid fans to follow, analyse and bet on games without ever leaving the sportsbook.

Through our Second Spectrum business, we can even throw tracking metrics like speed and distance into the mix – just as we’re doing with the NFL’s official Next Gen Stats feed.

  1. Connect with context in-game

Fans are coveted by all kinds of brands, so you need to speak their language to cut-through. And social media ads and push messaging are two of the most powerful ways to connect.

Both these channels allow you to interact with customer segments in personalised ways, grabbing their attention and getting them to revisit your site or app.

Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are where fans are at, and creating tailored data-driven videos to showcase your odds is a smart way to capture their attention. For Betway, this increased click-to-install rate by 186%.

Meanwhile, telling data-led stories via push notifications is proven to increase conversions by 5-10% (across previous Genius campaigns). A compelling data point is a great way to promote your odds and markets, especially when you serve a message at high-impact moments like after a goal or at half-time.

Visit us at ICE London. April 12-14. Stand S2-340. Book a meeting.