Exclusive interview.- Lorenzo Caci, Sportradar’s director of business development and strategic partnerships, talks to Focus Gaming News.
A truly international organisation, Sportradar employs over 2,000 people in more than 30 locations. For a company that occupies a unique position where sports, data, media and betting meet, how has it adapted to the challenges of the pandemic and new regulations?
Focus Gaming News caught up with Lorenzo Caci, director of business development and strategic partnerships, to find out.
“Our agreement with the BCCI is a great milestone for our company.”Lorenzo Caci, director of business development and strategic partnerships at Sportradar.
One thing for sure is that Sportradar didn’t let the halt in sporting events earlier in the year hinder its development and expansion in any way.
It has continued to announce one partnership after another, including with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and with South Korea’s K League.
Caci says the company has been bringing its international experience to more localised deals, helping to support local sports federations.
Focusing on delivering high-quality sports data, Sportradar is increasingly looking at applying AI and other new technologies to data, but it has also been busy developing its own virtuals and simulated reality products.
Caci says the focus on innovation using the company’s vast collection of live data gathered over the years allowed it to fulfil customer demands at a time when there was no live events available.
“You need to be very flexible; you need to be very adaptive.”Lorenzo Caci, director of business development and strategic partnerships at Sportradar.
He says: “We had daily product meetings that were feeding back to sales. Sales was out and trying to stay with the customer and speak to the customer.”
The result is that the company has decided to retain its “Covid-fit” products beyond the resumption of live sports.
“We decided to keep it because it has become a kind of complementary offer,” Caci says.
“If I have a simulated reality from a cricket event and I simulate that 24, 12, or 6 hours before the real event, I have a kind of stimulation and this helps to make an opinion for the end users for them to be able to engage much better with the operators.
“Yes, there is a lot of work from the operator’s side to do, but this is their job. They need to market the products that we deliver to them, but I think we give them opportunities to engage better with the customer.”
He noted that esports had also broken new ground during the pandemic, although remains a niche market that demands more understanding from operators and needs to be targeted with content and information in specific sections online.
As for the regulatory developments that are seeing growing numbers of regulators looking at restrictions on in-play markets and betting on individual player performance, Caci says he recognised that more detailed data needed greater control but believed some regulators were not confident of providing the controls to allow certain markets
He says: “Certain regulators are probably not confident to allow these markets. The more open a market is, the more attention you need to have for your end users and the more solutions to protect them you need to offer.”
“Sports have learned how to deal with certain situations”Lorenzo Caci, director of business development and strategic partnerships at Sportradar.
As for the future of sports, which remain behind closed doors in many jurisdictions, Caci says he’s optimistic that “there has been a maturation from sports federations to offer live sport with the security you need to be there.”