Cutthroat competition and new digital consumer habits are increasingly forcing sportsbooks and affiliates to navigate difficult seas when trying to differentiate themselves and attract new audiences. But with extensive experience within the esports segment and digitally-native audiences, Abios and BETER are using their learnings to provide insights into how sportsbooks should be positioned to win the attention of the Netflix generation.
With the introduction of handheld devices, endless scrolling on social feeds, and on-demand video one click away, sports betting brands don’t only compete with each other for users’ attention but with endless sources of entertainment.
Brands that fail to ignite interest or keep users’ attention, warn Abios and BETER, get switched out in the blink of an eye, just like the mountain of four-minute videos on TikTok that users scroll away into oblivion.
Why operators should look to product quality to inspire brand loyalty
According to the two firms, operators in the online sports betting sector now have another beast to contend with: namely the low differentiation between sportsbooks. “The few differences seen often boil down to marketing, welcome bonuses and margins rather than product innovation offering an alternative betting experience,” they advised.
When sportsbooks and affiliates compete on bonuses and other promotions rather than product features, savvy users can have up to three to five accounts on several platforms, juggling offers to see which brand can provide the best promotion instead of choosing an operator based on a superior user experience. This, they believe, divides profits between several sports betting brands and increases marketing costs, as sportsbooks must rely on new customer acquisition to fill in gaps made by inconsistent users.
The core reason for operators failing to find customer brand loyalty might stem from a lack of product differentiation in the industry, said Abios and BETER. As bonuses and promotions are a core part of the sports betting experience, they shouldn’t be sidelined, both firms advise. But neither should product innovation. To stand out and stay competitive in a saturated market, creating a unique user experience that delights and provides added value to customers should be ingrained in the core operating strategy. It provides stickiness and recurring users in ways promotions and time-limited offers never could.
What does the Netflix generation want?
With core audiences and buying power increasingly shifting to younger generations aged 18-45, it’s important to consider digital consumer habits when building brand loyalty and considering product strategies. Community-building, on-demand content, authenticity and intuitive product features are all core components of many digital brands that succeeded in reaching these target groups.
While it can be argued many online sportsbooks are digitally native with lots of content centred around some of the most coveted brands in the world, including the Champion’s League, NFL or Wimbledon, it lacks the on-demand aspects many Millennials and Gen Z’s have learned to expect from their digital products such as Netflix or Tiktok.
As such, younger Netflix generations accustomed to consuming entertainment on-demand might be tricky users to acquire, given the seasonal sports calendar.
Gearing sports betting to include an on-demand experience
Having operated in esports for 10 years, Abios specialises in supplying sportsbooks with engaging experiences in esports and digital sports geared toward end users aged 18-45 (Generation Z and Millennials).
Large sports events are entertaining but don’t provide consistent content delivery. Abios has identified tournaments in sports games, such as esoccer, to have great potential to combat the seasonality in sports.
Evgeniy Bekker, Esports General Manager at BETER, commented: “Our ESportsBattle`s eFootball tournaments stand out for their ability to captivate sports fans on demand. Each month, it features over 24,000 matches in the most popular game formats that offer fast-paced action in an intuitive format.
“With streams and on-page statistics, Abios has used data from the tournaments to transform the spreadsheets of endless markets often found in sports betting into an engaging viewership experience with multiple layers of content. This enables the betting experience to become a form of entertainment, allowing fans to stay on a page longer and interact with content when they feel like it instead of solely when big games are played.“
Oskar Fröberg, CEO and Founder of Abios, added: “While esoccer will never rival traditional sports in terms of viewership and engagement, it fulfils a different kind of demand, namely the demand for a consistent stream of content. With its never-ending stream of engaging content, it has caught the millennial audience by storm and is a popular pastime, both in terms of betting and viewership. In addition to this, esoccer is in a format traditional sports fans can relate to.”
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