How Sportradar is helping to drive fan engagement for Formula One

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In-race betting markets for Formula One (F1) may have historically been quite basic, but Sportradar is flipping the script by using an extensive range of data points to create a more exciting product and drive increased engagement among F1 fans.

That was one of the main takeaways from the ‘Bridging the Gap Between Formula 1 and Live Betting’ webinar, hosted yesterday as part of the SBC Webinars series. 

During the session, Sportradar’s Dalraj Bahia – MD of Operations for Betting & Gaming – and Hamish Bicket – Director for Sports Content & Partnerships – gave an in-depth examination of the opportunities that one of the world’s most popular sports provides for operators.

For Bicket, Sportradar is offering a new opportunity for F1 to boost engagement among its fans through in-race betting markets. 

“Formula One is really trying to grow its fan engagement – we’ve seen that with what they’ve done through the Drive to Survive Netflix series,” he said. “That has been incredible in allowing both fans and non-fans to have a window into the Formula One world and to understand the demands placed on the 20 Formula One drivers.

“The betting possibilities is another way for Formula One to engage with its fans – in-race opportunities allow them to do that. Typically, you have a younger generation of fans which are looking at their second or third screen during the race itself. This partnership is something that we can do to help redirect their attention back to the betting opportunities in-race.”

The best way to engage with fans, explained Bahia, comes in the form of in-race data. However, one of the key challenges has arisen when trying to filter crucial information from the millions of data points collected by Sportradar.

He said: “Breadth of data was actually one of the biggest challenges when bringing this product to market. But equally, the main opportunity that we had was to bring the product vision that we had to life. Formula One is a very data-centric, technology driven sport. The engineering that goes into the cars is truly world-leading and they raise the bar higher every year. 

“As a result, the data at our fingertips as the official exclusive partner of Formula One is astonishing. I think the statistic is 1.1 million data points per second coming from each and every car. So with 20 cars on the grid, we’re looking at more than 20 million pieces of data every second – and that is before we even look at trackside sensors. For a two hour race, there’s an enormous amount of data to potentially ingest as well as billions of data points.” 

Reflecting on previous in-race betting products for F1, he discussed how a lack of real-time data and analytics has limited the development of exciting betting markets.

Bahia continued: “With that data, so many previously hidden insights and stories can emerge. In recent years, you may have seen the use of the overlay on the halo which shows car speed, RPM, G Force and various other live insights. But at Sportradar, what we’re doing with that incredibly rich data is, for the first time, making use of it and feeding the betting ecosystem and our product range.

“Previously the industry hasn’t had access to this real-time data and analytics to provide an exciting in-race product. As a result, the live in-race markets on offer have been very basic. It has absolutely been a huge challenge to process that data and figure out the critical pieces of data that we need to drive our products for betting.”

You can watch the full webinar here.