Enteractive brings expertise to sportsbook reactivations post-COVID 19
5 Star speaks with Enteractive’s CCO Daniel Larsson on the return of sportsbooks post-COVID 19.
As we move into the second half of 2020, the teams are coming back out onto the pitches, and we’re starting to see the sports sector recover some of the ground lost to lockdowns around the world.
It’s not going to be anything like it was for a long time yet, but with sporting events finding responsible ways to rekindle leagues, competitions, and championships, and despite a no crowd policy, sports fans the world over are rejoicing that there’s a return to competition for most sporting verticals.
This is obviously great news for the sports betting sector – the iGaming vertical hardest hit by the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown and protective measures. Not since the Second World War have we seen sporting fixtures so severely impacted by a crisis which envelopes almost every single country around the planet.
However, in the short time that has passed since the pre-Covid era, there has been a seismic shift in player’s attention, and the sportsbook landscape could look quite different post-pandemic.
Without real-life sports, both the eSports and virtual sports sectors have seen remarkable growth. Estimates now suggest that eSports gambling revenue in 2020 will reach $14 billion, doubling the figures for 2019. For the sportsbetting sector, it’s important to recognise the loss of the players’ attention and loyalty over the last few months, as they’ve tried out different, previously untried, alternatives.
So brands will need to adapt their offering as they pay attention to changing trends, to make sure they’re not relying on one vertical over another. There needs to be more choice for the players, ensuring there’s more sustainable stability for the operators.
As we begin to see a return to more regular sporting activities, the sector should recover by default, but the way a sportsbook brand lives and breathes alongside its players is more crucial now than ever. Brands must show empathy for players’ personal situations, and responsible gambling measures are imperative. Engagement and rebuilding relationships with players also has a renewed focus for brands, since loyalty has been eroded by the virus.
Operators must focus on their relationships with players, so now is the time to double down and show the players some love – it’s the relationship and the personal touch, the conversation that’s important.
Here at Enteractive, as we’ve continued to get in touch with players on behalf of our clients, with remote working protocols working well in our business, one thing we’ve noticed during lockdown is that the players actually want to chat more!
So we’ve seen success for our iGaming partners’ player re-activations even without the major events and the big bonuses – it just shows the immense magnetism of a simple phone call.
Those brands that connect with players in this more personal way, instead of using SMS and email, have an opportunity to rise above the noise and develop more valuable and long-lasting relationships with players. Enteractive has worked with operators over the last ten years to do precisely this, opening a one-to-one conversation with players which makes them feel more individual, cared for, and not just another email address.
As we come out of this global health emergency, the sports betting industry needs to realise that it’s possible for the sportsbook model of previous decades to break down in times of crisis and leave them literally deserted. No longer can the industry take things for granted, and hopefully it will be better prepared for unexpected downturns and crises in the future. This time of COVID-19 has shown how easily our society and daily routines can be interrupted indefinitely by an invisible virus.
Positively thinking, innovation will continue, but with renewed energy and focus, as the industry surges forward to find new staples for an audience with ever-changing trends. We will likely see an increased interest in virtual sports and esports, alongside more diversity in the products that sports book operators develop, including more social and casual betting opportunities. With the support of governing body regulations in each country, and with the approval and buy-in from the player audience, this will be the way that the sports betting industry recovers and improves. Otherwise, for some, it could simply be ‘game over’.
Daniel Larsson is CCO at Enteractive Malta.
Enteractive is the industry leader in player reactivation, and the pioneers behind the (Re)Activation Cloud™, building bridges between operators and their players, and ultimately increasing player retention and loyalty by engaging with them in a 1-on-1 conversation.