This week saw Sportradar and BetChicago form a new alliance (read here) which will ultimately give bettors a useful mix of sports news and betting data to help them make more informed choices about their wagering activities. SBC Americas spoke with BetChicago president Frank Ignatius to learn more.

SBC Americas: How important is Sportradar’s status as official partner of the NBA, NFL , NHL etc to BetChicago and why?

Frank Ignatius: The relationship that SportRadar has with the major leagues in the US was very important to us, and should be a tremendous selling point for SportRadar going forward. This is a brand new industry, so credibility and professionalism will be important qualities to demonstrate as we introduce our business. By putting their data in the hands of SportRadar, the leagues are putting a great deal of trust in them, and we recognise that.

SBCA: Can you describe the integration process? How easy was it working with Sportradar?

FI: The team at SportRadar has been professional and responsive.  Our site is in its early stages and we are confident knowing that our data and odds are being handled by the leader in this industry.  There is a reason that they are the best in this business, and we get a chance to see it every day.

SBCA: How important will live/in-play betting be to the US sports betting market? Do you think it will be as popular with US sports bettors as it is in the UK for example?

FI: I think in-play betting is going to be huge in the US market.  It’s the perfect combination of speed, technology and a short attention span, and I think it will be very popular here. Sports like baseball and golf will benefit most of all, as games that need an injection of excitement. Plus, the regularly timed delays in their action provide the perfect timing for entering a live play.

SBCA: Who typically reads the content on BetChicago and what are the main things they are looking to learn?

FI: We have just launched and our goal is to appeal to the sports fan who wants an element of betting info in their sports story. You can find sports news anywhere, so we try to separate ourselves by providing in-depth coverage of odds, futures, props, daily fantasy and  anything else that involves sports betting. As legalisation comes to more and more states, sports betting is going to be such a mainstream topic. We would like to be a source for experts and novices to both find some useful information.

Even if you have never placed a bet before, you might like to know who is the odds-on favourite to win the SuperBowl or which three players have the best odds to win the Cy Young. Betting information can be included in a story to lend perspective and serve as a baseline for a future event.  The Stanley Cup run of the Las Vegas Knights is the perfect example. Sports writers could look for all kinds of words to describe the unlikely success of that team, but nothing summed up the crazy run as well as 500-1. 500-1 said it all, and became the talking point of every Vegas hockey story.  BetChicago is going to provide stories like that, and always include the odds.

SBCA: Finally, how important are media interests such as BetChicago in the overall sports betting mix and why?

FI: I think media is going to play a big part in sports betting.  Betting is a very interactive activity and bettors will look for all kinds of outlets to help them participate.  As a hobby, I think sports betting will entail a lot more than just placing a bet and watching the game. Sports bettors will consume information from many different sources on many different platforms, and creative sites and apps will need to find the best way to deliver content to that group. BetChicago is looking for new ways to communicate with sports fans and give them betting content in a fresh way.