With revenues expected to top $500bn in the next five years, the fast-growing betting market has become one of the most ferociously competitive of all business sectors.
And bookmakers worldwide are naturally looking to enhance the effectiveness of their marketing activity and their ROI to distinguish themselves from competitors and increase their market share.
Leading sports data and intelligence provider Sportradar has responded to the growing demand by launching ad:s, a 360-degree ‘marketing suite’ for sports betting stakeholders that is designed to support the growth of betting businesses by enhancing targeting, optimising spend and eliminating waste.
ad:s draws on Sportradar’s expertise and experience as a business founded on providing fast, reliable and measurable data, as well as its position at the intersection of betting and sports media. This, paired with its broad sales network and vast infrastructure, allows ad:s to further optimise bookmakers’ marketing spend. The range of marketing services includes sponsorship consulting, SEO and SEA marketing, UI/UX consulting, digital traffic networks, programmatic advertising, pop-under ad networks, ad products and affiliate marketing.
In addition to the comprehensive and unique network of over 500 sports rights-holders and its own developed DSP for programmatic advertising and other services offered, Sportradar has recently partnered with some of the biggest and most important digital traffic sources for bookmakers, including Livescore.com, Sofascore and Besoccer. While sports betting operators are the primary target, ad:s also will partner with non-betting related brands looking for exposure in the sports enthusiast market.
Here Felix Geyr, managing director of sports media at Sportradar, explains how ad:s is changing the face of gaming sector marketing.
What marketing challenges do sports media operators and bookmakers face today?
Despite the differences in the industries, they actually share a number of similar problems and challenges in the modern business landscape.
While sports media has been dealing with social media and the proliferation of online content, including a gradual splintering of audiences, bookmakers too have to differentiate themselves from competitors in the battle for attention.
Not all bookmakers have the infrastructure or expertise to handle all necessary marketing efforts on their own but, as experts with decades of experience in both sectors, we can offer tailored marketing solutions, in a similar way to an agency or consultancy but with added knowledge and knowhow in the sector.
What are the origins of ad:s and how does it draw on Sportradar’s specific technical expertise and market knowledge?
ad:s is an embodiment of our unique positioning at the intersection of the sports media and betting industries, as well as our long held belief in the power of accurate, reliable data.
We know the challenges that face both these industries and believe our data can help focus and streamline marketing efforts on both sides. ad:s allows publishers to monetise their content with relevant advertising while bookmakers can also target their marketing efforts, making for a mutually beneficial solution.
In simple terms, how does it deliver more effective digital advertising and enhanced ROI?
Sportadar’s ad:s connects bookmakers with more than 300 rights-holders and publishers and, using our reliable data, we can target advertising to make it more streamlined and effective.
It means that whatever the size of the business, we can aid and assist marketing operations as a kind of middle-man between bookmakers and sports-media operators.
What is programmatic advertising and how does ad:s work in this area?
Programmatic advertising means buying advertising in real time using business algorithms and machine learning. Using data from both bookmakers and rights-holders, ad:s is perfectly positioned to deliver this as a solution.
Sportadar’s betting data unlocks the power of display, native and video advertising, all in real time and on a programmatic basis. Bespoke media-buying algorithms and look-a-like modelling means acquisition cost drops, as does media spend. Lastly, with that reduction and streamlining of marketing, you can also create better customer journeys.
How can ad:s be used in relation to a bookmaker’s sponsorship activities?
ad:s helps bookmakers find the best fitting sponsorship opportunities wherever they are in the world and whatever sports they wish to focus on. We also lend our expertise when it comes to activation, meaning we join the dots for bookmakers to provide that holistic marketing service.
Who is using the service?
Despite it being a fairly new offering – launched in February – we’ve signed up a number of established and leading bookmakers, including the likes of Interwetten, Betway, Unibet and bwin.
As the product grows and awareness spreads, we believe that client list will grow exponentially. Even though we’ve had great pickup so far, this first year is primarily about ‘making noise’ and speaking to the right people and operators. From there, we’ll be focusing on increased automation and scalability.
How can ad:s be developed to meet other needs in the sector?
The next steps for ad:s, and I think the industry in general, is automation and being able to say to both sports media and betting entities that with business intelligence we can scale and grow the service in line with the client’s development.
That goes for operators of different sizes and needs, because efficiency gains are common goals across the board. Currently we want both the sports media and betting industries to be aware of what this product can do for them, then we want to focus on increased automation and further scalability in the next years.