Andrew Morgan, Director of International Strategy at ICS Media Group, says that US online sportsbooks must prioritize content if they are to win the battle for supremacy.
The battle for supremacy in the US sports betting market is underway with most of the big-name betting brands now live in New Jersey at least, with more likely to enter the fray in the coming months.
It looks set to be a spectacular showdown between established American gambling giants such as Caesars, MGM and Golden Nugget taking on European power players like 888 and William Hill.
Then, of course, you have daily fantasy sports titans FanDuel and DraftKings plus online sportsbook brands like PointsBet and BetAmerica. If that wasn’t enough, sports media giants like TheScore and Fox have also fielded their own online sportsbooks to capture their share of what is one of the largest betting markets in the world.
But who is best placed to come out on top? FanDuel has dominated the New Jersey market so far with DraftKings in second, albeit a fairly distant second. So why are these DFS power players leading the charge, and how can others catch up? I think it has a lot to do with how FanDuel and DraftKings built incredible brand equity in the run up to the PASPA repeal in 2018, signing deals with players, teams and leagues.
This, combined with a sleek and sophisticated online sportsbook offering, has served both brands well in the New Jersey market to date.
FanDuel’s tie up with Paddy Power Betfair has also boosted cross-marketing and gaming knowledge while the Fox deal will only add greater clout to their offering. Indeed, it is the introduction of the sports media giants such as Fox and TheScore that could dent the DFS operators’ dominance.
Why? Because these media brands have huge audiences of engaged and loyal sports fans who are ready to bet on sports as and when it becomes legal in their state. They have been active for many years and over that time have provided fans with a wealth of information and entertainment around their favorite sports.
Given the chance to bet with these media brands – brands that are reputable and have high levels of trust among consumers – I believe they will. This could see a big shift in the established order in New Jersey and other states as legal sports betting rolls out across America.
So, what can established US gambling brands, and their European counterparts, do to catch up to FanDuel and DraftKings while also fending off the likes of Fox and TheScore? They too must become sports media giants. This will help them to engage sports fans and potential bettors, drive engagement and take loyalty to new heights.
Below, I talk through the different types of content that sportsbook operators can create and how it will help them to compete with the DFS superstars and sports media legends.
Start with written content. Written content is the foundation of any sports media outlet, as it should be for online sportsbook operators looking to build their own content hubs. It serves two key purposes – it provides bettors with the information, insight and advice they are seeking, and it also helps online sportsbooks improve their SERPs rankings.
Written content can take many forms but the most common are:
- Breaking news
- Player and team guides
- Match previews and reviews
- Data and analysis
- Pundit columns and op-eds
- Player interviews
- Betting guides
Content should be created and posted regularly to ensure that bettors can stay on top of the sporting world and also to give them a reason to keep returning to the sportsbook site. It can also easily form part of a marketing campaign with a brand ambassador.
Audio content drives engagement and loyalty. For those looking to take their content hub to the next level, audio content is a great way of connecting consumers to the brand even when they are on the move.
Radio broadcasts are hugely popular as they work well on mobile and allow bettors to listen to game updates and even off-tube commentary and punditry shows as well as podcasts. Audio content can also include calls to action that push listeners to the sportsbook and the latest odds and markets being offered.
Video content is hugely popular and is now very much the future. Why? Because it is highly engaging and very easy to share across channels such as Facebook and Twitter. There are countless video content formats that online sportsbook operators can use from match previews and reviews to interviews and punditry shows.
Again, this content is all about attracting new players – who may see clips posted on social media – while also retaining customers by allowing them to keep up-to-date with games and scores.
Creating a content hub is undoubtedly a huge undertaking, but it is necessary for all online sportsbooks looking to claim their share of the American market. It is going to be a hugely competitive space and content really will help brands stand out from their rivals and deliver a superior player experience.