SPORTS BETTING IN A POST-CORONAVIRUS WORLD
Having no sports right now sucks. If you’ve forgotten what a world with major events every weekend feels like, don’t worry – we forgive you. You’re probably not the only one.
And despite what you might have been told, the Belarussian Premier League just isn’t the same as watching the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and so on tussle with one another.
Sure, things might seem like they’ll never return to normal right now. But they will. Sports will come back and so will sports bettors. It remains to be seen *how* they do, but the certainty is that they will.
Now is a good time to think about what a post-coronavirus sports betting world will look like, which is what we’re going to help you with today.
How could players’ attitudes change when it comes to sports betting?
There is no definitive answer to this, but we can speculate that one of a few outcomes will happen. The first is that everything will return to normal, but considering the impact of Covid-19 on everybody that’s questionable.
Spending habits will probably change for many people. To begin with, many regular punters could find themselves out of work and therefore without disposable income. Meanwhile, others could become more cautious about where their money goes.
On the flip side, there will be others who are excited for the return to action. People who feel that there is no substitute for watching their favourite team or player. These are the types of individuals that will mean that sports betting will always be around.
What should affiliates and operators do to prepare for the resumption of the sporting calendar?
Don’t be stupid with your marketing. We talked about this in our ‘Pivot, Don’t Panic’ call a few weeks ago. Our industry receives plenty of scrutiny at the best of times, let alone now. This is not the time to go gung-ho with moronic marketing practices.
Both affiliates and operators have already been warned about the consequences of targeting players with inappropriate advertising. And alongside the financial penalties, it’s just not worth risking your long-term reputation either. You should still be marketing yourself, but be sensible with your messaging.
Engage players now. A lot of sports fans are a) stuck at home and b) bored. They want entertainment and that’s something you’ve got the power to provide.
This is a good time to adopt new content marketing practices that could prove successful in the long-term. For example, have you considered podcasts and video? Either (or both) of these will provide something unique if done properly.
You could also think about what you wish to include in your content. One way you could entertain people, beyond season previews and what not, is sports card pack openings. As was mentioned in our recent industry discussion, this has been well-received in some corners of social media. Ask players what they would like to see and experiment – it’ll pay off in the long run.
Why should I be optimistic?
Sports will return. Nobody knows when, but it will. And those games that haven’t been played over the past couple of months? Well… they’ll have to take place at some point.
One could say that this break has been beneficial for sports such as football. We were at the business end of the season for many leagues. Now, key players will have more time to heal from injuries and everybody will be raring to go once things return to normal.
2021 will be an action-packed sporting year. Prior to the spread of Covid-19, the sports betting industry was gearing up for an exciting summer. Euro 2020 was going to be played across Europe for the first time, while the Tokyo Olympics was also on the agenda.
Both of those have now been postponed until next year, meaning that next summer will be one to remember. And the year after that, the men’s World Cup will take place. So yeah, things might be dormant now – but we’ve got a few years jam-packed with action to come.
It’s understandable that many sports betting operators and affiliates are concerned about the future right now. But remember that with every passing day, we edge one closer to normality.
When things return to normal, the industry is in for a treat with plenty of action on the way. Nobody knows how player behaviours will change, but we can make educated guesses and prepare accordingly.
Now is the time to engage your consumers where possible. This includes both offering entertaining content and cross-selling other verticals. If you’re there for them when sports is lacking, they’ll remember you when the good times return.