As the world of sports continues to evolve, the interconnectivity between sports teams, leagues, the media, and sportsbooks remains a hot topic.
With sports leagues and other rightsholders looking to expand their revenue streams, the convergence of these industries had resulted in numerous partnerships and promotional activations since the repeal of PASPA.
However, for over two decades, the sports industry has wrestled with the challenge of how best to optimize the relationship between sports media and betting. Yet the answer has seemingly remained agonizingly out of reach. At least, until now.
Sam Sadi is the CEO of LiveScore Group, a thriving operation at the heart of two $125bn industries. Comprising brands LiveScore, LiveScore Bet, and Virgin Bet, the Group is powered by a unique convergence model which is disrupting the market and creating a truly new experience for consumers.
Speaking exclusively to SBC Americas ahead of his appearance at the SBC Summit North America next week, Sadi took the time to assess the current health of the industry, and the shift in unit economics which have informed LiveScore Group’s innovative new strategy.
Sports betting and sports media are long-term friends but, in Sadi’s view, there are several problems that have persisted for many years within the two respective industries.
“The consumption of sports content is hugely inefficient and uneconomical,” Sadi explained. “The modern sports fan is expected to navigate a fragmented ecosystem delivered by different brands and companies across various apps, platforms, and even devices. Completing the basic and repeatable actions require managing multiple paid subscriptions and accounts.
“This has resulted in global trends such as ‘cord cutting’ and ‘subscription fatigue’, and even created a new generation of ‘never corded’ users who are completely disengaged from sports.”
The sports media industry is not alone in facing deep-rooted problems. On the other side of the fence, sportsbooks are struggling with the rising costs of customer acquisition and content distribution. Against a backdrop of saturated media & performance channels, sportsbooks are pivoting to provide more content to users to aid retention. However, uptake and distribution are proving challenging according to Sadi.
“We believe the solution lies exists in the form of a truly pioneering convergence model. Through LiveScore Group, we operate a fully owned and operated ecosystem that converges the most relevant and engages sports content and features with a world-class sportsbook. All of which creates a frictionless customer experience delivered by a purpose-built, in-house tech stack.”
Sadi will appear at SBC Summit North America, taking place at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey on May 9-11. As the best of the industry gathers to analyze and assess the future, the LiveScore Group CEO will appear on a panel entitled Sports Betting, Teams, and Media: Forensic Analysis of Converging Relationships.
With the “TikTokification” of the media landscape allied to the seemingly decreasing attention spans of particularly younger users, Sadi asserted the importance of convergence to meet those consumer needs in 2023.
“I think it’s critical. Not only are those attention spans decreasing, but there’s a lot more competition for that attention and a lot more options for content for entertainment.” He goes on to explain. “It’s really important to offer solutions that relieve some of the multi-app fragmented sports consumption and try to deliver it in a more frictionless, seamless environment.”
“We believe by creating a single ecosystem that integrates various sources of content, such as news, score updates, with transactional content such as betting, we will create a much more favorable user experience versus using dozens of different apps to achieve the same objective.”
Establishing itself as a key player in the scores, stats, and media space before entering the betting space, LiveScore Group intrinsically knows the importance of data and how it is driving the sports space.
Yet, despite having data on millions of global sports fans, the priority for Sadi is not to convert LiveScore’s users into bettors but to deliver them the most relevant sports content in the most intuitive product design possible.
Sadi noted: “The more interaction data we have about a user’s preferences, the more we can customize their product experience. So, if you are indeed interested in a really deep level of data, especially on players, your product will appear differently than a user that is just interested in their team news. It’s all about personalization, it’s all about relevance. It’s all about customizing that experience, based on that data.”
“Through the use of new generative AI technologies, you can imagine a world that is not too far away, I believe, where every individual has their own version of LiveScore that is fully customized based on how they’re consuming it and how they’re interacting with the product.”
In addition to LiveScore, the Group operates the LiveScore Bet and Virgin Bet brands, which are licensed in Great Britain, Gibraltar, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Nigeria. Asked about what he sees on the horizon for the industry, Sadi was bullish and optimistic about the future for sports fans if companies such as LiveScore Group can continue evolving and optimizing their offering.
Sadi said: “When it comes to my work at LiveScore Group, I am always sure to put myself in the shoes of our users and draw on my own experience as a passionate sports fan. I personally make sure to catch every live game I can on TV, and I spend hours devouring all kinds of sports-related content. I’m incredibly energized by the chance to provide solutions to problems that I, as a sports enthusiast, have faced for years.
“I’ve long searched for a way to consume sports content and take part in sports betting without the hassle of juggling multiple subscriptions or endlessly scrolling through countless apps and websites. The evidence shows us that there are millions of people who feel the same way and are dissatisfied with the current state of fragmented sports content delivery.
“Finding a solution to enhance the worldwide popularity and consumption of sports is a challenge that brings me great satisfaction, and I’m proud of the way LiveScore Group is leading the way in the new world of convergence.”
You can catch Sam Sadi’s appearance at SBC Summit North America at the Meadowlands Exposition Center on May 9-11 by purchasing a ticket here.