HPL Digital Sport: Steering sportsbooks away from the ‘sea of sameness’

When it comes to both reaching and retaining players in the long term, sportsbooks must ensure they don’t fall into the ‘sea of sameness’ by promoting unique products to their audiences.

During the first episode of the new SBC Americas and HPL Digital Sport webinar series, Reach & Retain Dynamic Marketing for the Long Game, Fubo Gaming VP of Marketing Steven Astrachan shared his thoughts on why he believes there is very little differentiation between sportsbooks and how individuals can assert their presence through product promotion.

He said: “Obviously we’re currently in a super competitive landscape with a lot of larger players in it. They have a large market share and are spending a lot on both media and marketing to reach players out there.

“I think that the most important thing to think about when we’re looking at trying to differentiate ourselves is the product side. If you look at the market, there is a ‘sea of sameness’, specifically around what people are bringing to the sports betting table.

“A lot of places have platforms where you can go and place a bet – that’s the totality of what you’re ultimately getting from these platforms. 

“I think there is a great opportunity to create a product that is based around what the sports bettor really wants. They don’t just want the ability to place bets – they want to also be able to get more information. We’re living in the information age. They ultimately want to research their bets and ultimately watch what they’re betting on. 

“I think there is a huge opportunity to build a product that is a lot different to what there is on offer at the minute that can help us stand out from the big players.This will allow us to really change the way in which people view sports betting.”

Astrachan was joined on the webinar by fellow panellists Phil Leif, SVP of Marketing at HPL Digital Sport, and Eitan Rosenberg, US Marketing Lead at 888 Holdings, Meanwhile Ed Moed, CEO of HPL Digital Sport, moderated discussions.

Echoing a similar sentiment to that of Astrachan, Leif pointed towards two different ways in which betting companies can ensure they stand out from the competition. For Leif, the key to engagement lies in media as well as novelty.

He explained: “I think there are two ways sportsbooks can differentiate themselves. The first is from the media and content side, and that relies on the sportsbook having something interesting to promote – something beyond the typical offers that other people are shouting about. 

“Coming with something from a content point of view that is entertaining lets you break through that wall of ‘ok, how am I fighting commodity promotion after commodity promotion’. You still need those types of promotions, but once you have people in your funnel, you can hit them with the DR stuff. 

“The other way is by finding something really novel to do. You can find offers which will generate press, or you can find something really silly and quirky to do.”

Promoting your product and offering promotions is all well and good, explained Rosenburg, but companies must find a balance between establishing your brand and promoting your products. 

He added: “There’s the product side of things and there’s the branding side. Right now, everyone seems to be in a fight over branding where it is very hard to delineate yourself in that space. 

“It’s almost like a race to the bottom – everyone is shouting about big promos but no one has really done a great job of aligning with the big brand theme. This then means that things are also becoming more focused around the product.  But eventually, companies will have to focus on both. 

“You can only lean one one of these thighs for so long. As an example, if you have a really great product, you can spread the word. But if you really want to take it to the next level and get that entry point user, you really establish a brand which aligns with your product,”

Click here to view the full webinar.