Optimising sportsbook for a World Cup like no other

Pronet Gaming’s Sportsbook and Trading Director Tommy Molloy explains how operators can prepare for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Pronet Gaming’s Sportsbook and Trading Director Tommy Molloy explains how operators can prepare for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

With countries across the globe getting ready for a winter World Cup, the sports betting sector is considering how this seasonal change may affect customer behaviour in relation to the event. Pronet Gaming’s Sportsbook and Trading Director Tommy Molloy wrote a column about it.

Opinion.- Pronet Gaming’s Sportsbook and Trading Director Tommy Molloy explains how operators can prepare for the challenges of a mid-season competition and how trading might differ from other tournaments:

As the world’s best football players prepare for the warmth of Qatar’s weather, innumerable punters around the globe will be turning up their coat collars against bitter winter wind and rain on their way to the pub to see and bet on the World Cup’s various matches this November and December.

The world has changed in some incredible ways over the two years and with the prospect of a winter World Cup that feeling continues in earnest. All this change means that, more than ever, operators need to be on their toes to remain as proactive and flexible as customers expect them to be as a sporting event like no other draws closer. The tournament could see two of the sport’s all-time greats, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo facing off against each other, almost certainly for the last time in a World Cup.

With enormous potential gains to be achieved during the tournament, it’s worth looking back to Euro 2020 last year, which was another tournament that fell during extraordinary circumstances as we had to contend with a plethora of varying restrictions across different countries.

The Euros saw Pronet Gaming launch our proprietary widgets, which offered customers quick access to pre-built accas, following a remodelling of the platform’s front-end UI. With the widgets localised to particular markets as well as being mobile-friendly, we were able to offer operators an edge in acquisition and retention.

It could be argued that the World Cup is a more substantial event, but there is a great deal we can learn about one competition by looking at the other from a betting perspective. One of the most important elements in the success of both is the build-up to their respective kick-offs.

It’s important to remember this excitement makes for the ideal acquisition conditions, but operators need to be in a position to take full advantage. They need to make sure the PPC is impeccably timed so that it falls three or four days before the tournament and they have all the right cross-sells in place.

Operators also need to be keenly aware that time is of the essence as the World Cup falls mid-season in terms of domestic competitions. It’s imperative that they have effective acquisition and retention plans in place as early as August in order to navigate the crossover. The last set of Premier League matches before the World Cup is set to take place on November 12-13 and the first World Cup match is on November 21, so operators will barely have time to draw breath between the events. Our job as a platform provider is to equip our clients with the tools for them to be successful because we all share in that success.

Timing is everything when introducing these tools and was certainly the case when we launched our proprietary widgets. They were rolled out on the eve of the Euros, at a time when sports betting operators worldwide were competing more strongly than ever for market share, and definitely gave our partners a powerful edge.

Our team worked extremely hard to produce a full suite of widgets allowing operators and their players quick access to matches, group betting, outrights and specials across both mobile and desktop and that same work ethic is in full flow as the World Cup looms.

Attracting customers and keeping them engaged is going to be crucial in what is sure to be an action-packed World Cup. By developing initiatives such as these and adapting our front-end accordingly, we aim to offer both our partners and their customers a truly superior sportsbook experience.

Localisation is key

To be able to cash in on the opportunities this World Cup presents, operators will need to afford their customers a localised offering for a truly global event. To help our client deliver on this, we released our Popular Bets and Popular Events widgets late last year, allowing operators to display their current top-10 bets and top-10 events, like bet on by their own players, automatically refreshing every five minutes.

To be successful in the upcoming tournament, operators will need a localised, intuitive way to immediately boost engagement. They will need to gauge player preferences and deliver upon their findings and products to help maximise those efforts.

More recently, we introduced our new bet stimulation tool, Bet Assist which has been received well in the market. The automated sports insight data covers more than 100 popular betting markets, both pre-match and live.

It is powered both by historical data and AI analysis and is designed to heighten customer engagement, retention and turnover rates by supplying tips in a feed or widget on the operator’s site. An example of this is if a player scores a goal, receives a red card or makes an assist, that information is processed and communicated back to the end-user in the form of refreshed betting tips.

A fully integrated bet slip aids quick navigation,  with the product providing a slew of targeted insights for the bettor that hasn’t been seen before in the industry. This has resulted in significantly improved engagement with average bets per fixture, turnover and revenue growth across the board. Equally as impressive is that this product is effective in both pre-game and in-play environments, allowing our clients to attract players pre-game and retain in-play, covering the full lifecycle of events.

Our aim is always to produce a solution that is appropriate for the particular conditions of any given market. More often than not, the solution from a content point of view is a more localised approach and the implementation of tools that allow the operator to target their customers more accurately, which is what we have set out to achieve with our Bet Assist and Popular Bets products solutions. Solutions such as these can help operators to navigate the sporting terrain that has changed so much, with limited time to prepare.

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