Webinar series will help gaming operators develop sophisticated marketing plans

Webinar series will help gaming operators develop sophisticated marketing plans

  • Rege Behe
March 9, 2021 4:10 PM
  • Other

The eagerness of  operators to cash in as online and mobile sports betting is legalized across the United States is akin to the California Gold Rush of the mid-19th century. There are many companies prospecting for the riches that sports betting can yield and a surge to establish a presence in multiple jurisdictions.

But Ed Moed, CEO of HPL Digital Sport, thinks operators intent on long-term success need to do more than just gain access before their rivals.

“Getting there first doesn’t mean as much as doing it the right way,” he says.

The HPL Digital Sport and SBC Americas will present Reach & Retain Dynamic Marketing for the Long Game, a four-part webinar series about effective branding for the sports betting industry. The first installment is March 25 and will focus on how operators and publishers can capture bettor’s front-of-mind presence during March Madness, traditionally one of the most competitive sports betting periods of the year.

Moed says the casinos, sportsbooks, tech companies and gaming operators vying for the sports betting market have to not only navigate diverse regulations on a state-by-state basis, but also must design products to appeal to bettors,

“It’s so new there’s an immaturity towards how they build their brand, and how they market and communicate to  sports bettors,” Moed says. “It’s creating both some negativity and lack of differentiation and an indifference among sports bettors, and that’s creating problems on how they retain them.”

Moed says there’s very little loyalty toward sports betting sites because gamblers, like consumers, often shop for the best deal – or odds – when placing a bet. The key for operators is to become one of the handful of providers that bettors return to regularly.

But loyalty, at least so far, is hard to come by.

“Right now, what you have are millions of different promo ads that look the same going out on Facebook and every social channel that aren’t really engaging the user,” Moed says. “You might get that user for one bet, but there’s nothing that’s bringing them back, nothing that’s building brand equity with that sportsbook.”

Part of the problem is that there’s no single solution for earning brand loyalty. Instead attracting repeat customers requires an integrated approach with three areas of emphasis:

  • Creating a sophisticated brand design, akin to Apple or adidas
  • Ensuring customers positively experience and react to communications, whether they are ads, promotion or even articles in the media
  • Technology that translates to simple and easy navigation on sites.

“It’s really those three things integrated together that are going to build real successful retention and loyalty,” Moed says.

The money, “the real gold rush,” Moed thinks, lies in attracting new sports bettors who played fantasy sports and have only occasionally dabbled in sports gambling.  And like someone who is trying on a pair Nikes or drinking a Budweiser for the first time, the key to maintaining that patron’s business and interest is making sure that the product offered is of the times.

“You have to show that you’re culturally relevant,” he says. “You have to offer a great product and the marketing has to be very sophisticated to them.”

Some operators have already made inroads by aligning themselves with popular brands. Recently struck partnerships between Bally’s Corp. and the NBA and NHL, or BetWYNN and the Detroit Pistons, give those operators both an air of legitimacy and a bridge to new customers.

Moed also points to Penn National Gaming’s partnership with Barstool Sports as an example of forward thinking.

“Like or hate the brand, (Barstool does) fun, irreverent loyalty programs and they do give-away things that mean a lot to their user base,” Moed says, adding that “A lot of this is about building data bases of users to get them coming back.”

Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at rbehe@cdcgaming.com. Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.