In 2019, sports technology giant Sportradar launched ad:s, an omnichannel, digital marketing agency focused on sports fan engagement. The solution aims to help sportsbooks, as well as league and teams, to be more efficient and precise in their marketing spend and deliver positive ROI while also not oversaturating the marketing with ads. Three years later, the ad:s service has supported more than 100 operators.
In an exclusive interview with Yogonet, Mateo Lenoble, Sportradar’s Sales Director for Latin America, discusses the key advertising and sponsorship considerations for sports betting operators looking to optimise their marketing strategies. Additionally, he outlines how the company’s ad:s digital marketing service helps to pinpoint the most relevant customers to optimise customer acquisition.
Sportradar’s ad:s is a multi-platform performance marketing service helping betting operators to engage, acquire, retain and grow their customer base. How does it work, and what impact can it have on variables such as marketing spend?
Sportradar’s ad:s solution is underpinned by the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. We leverage the data and insight we have on end-user behaviour and preferences, betting frequency and lifetime value to inform and power our programmatic advertising services.
It’s a sophisticated tool engineered specifically for digital marketing within the sports betting industry and can provide insights into and differentiation between customer behaviours. These insights enable our clients to take a hyper-targeted approach to their marketing activities and our service directs the right content, to the right person, on the right platform, resulting in a positive effect on marketing metrics including Cost-Per Acquisition (CPA) and Net Gaming Revenue (NGR).
Sportradar's ad:s can potentially help not only sportsbooks but also leagues and teams. How would you describe the interest from these parties since ad:s’ launch in 2019? What has the general feedback been like?
Overall, Sportradar works with more than 900 sportsbook operators in 120 countries worldwide, that’s an attractive proposition to any rights holder looking to open new business opportunities and grow their fan base. With ad:s sponsorship solution, Sportradar is able to connect rights holders with sportsbook operators and develop mutually beneficial partnerships that improve fan engagement and create revenue-generating opportunities.
By applying our ad:s tech stack to the sponsorships agreements we’ve facilitated, we’re able to provide clients with a deeper understanding of their fans' behaviour online. Through our Publisher Products, these insights are used to serve fans adverts and odds based on their interests and the content they’re reading. This contextual relevancy improves the fan experience and boosts conversion rates. Since we launched the ad:s service in 2019, we’ve supported more than 100 sportsbook operators to deliver their marketing activities efficiently and effectively.
One of the major problems that brands face in the sports betting ecosystem is that traditional advertising strategies don’t necessarily work on sports bettors. In which ways do strategies within the gaming space differ from traditional ones, and what role does ad:s play to solve this issue?
Digital transformation has made a significant impact on our industry with online and mobile betting driving growth – a trend that is likely to continue for quite some time.
As operators adopt a digital-first approach, they’re capturing greater amounts of data and insights about the end users’ habits and behaviours. It is this data that operators are using to deliver highly targeted marketing campaigns which provides a more efficient and effective means of acquiring new customers.
The ad:s solution is underpinned by data and, unlike traditional marketing methods, provides clients with a deeper understanding of their customers’ behaviour at every stage of the conversion funnel. While still using anonymised data to comply with regulations, these insights enable operators to target their audience more precisely with customized messaging which is proven to increase engagement with an advert and deliver a reduction in cost per acquisition.
Sportradar claims that digital advertising for gaming companies can be met with “extreme” roadblocks by legacy digital advertising platforms. Could you provide us with some examples of this, and of the ways in which ad:s may be of assistance there?
The industry is continually evolving, and technology can struggle to keep pace. From a marketing perspective, legacy platforms are outdated and cannot provide operators with the speed, precision and scalability required.
In contrast, the programmatic advertising capabilities within the ad:s solution automates the buying of online advertising in real-time, removing the need for operators to do it manually. We’re able to provide our clients with scale through our industry-specific Demand Side Platform (DSP), which facilitates 60 billion ad requests per day and provides a curated supply of more than 600 deals specifically for the betting and gaming industry.
It is these unique features that help operators to achieve a lower CPA, more efficient spending and less advertising waste. One client, global sportsbook operator Coolbet, integrated ad:s programmatic advertising tool into their marketing strategy, leading to a 60% reduction in CPA and a 100% increase in NGR for those specific campaigns.
We have seen complaints of ads saturation for sports betting in spaces such as sporting events broadcasts, for example. Does ad:s contemplate this issue within its proposition? And what options does it offer to brands in terms of customization?
The sports betting industry is competitive with each operator looking to engage with sports fans and acquire new customers. While the volume of sports betting adverts can be overwhelming, the hyper-targeted nature of the ad:s solution enables operators to serve content that is relevant to the interests and preferences of their customers. We’ve seen that this level of relevancy increases engagement amongst customers.
Building on this idea of relevancy, the personalisation capabilities within the recently launched Dynamic Display tool enable operators to engineer personalised advertising creative. By processing more than half a billion weekly ad impressions, we’re able to generate real-time adverts that enhance the user journey for individual customers.
By gathering data and processing deep customer insights, we’re able to improve the relevancy of an advert and personalise its message in order to connect more deeply with individual customers and improve the performance of the ad creative.
The gaming industry is in constant change, and so are the channels for advertising, such as social media. How does ad:s respond to new developments in these fronts, and what are some new features we could expect going forward?
The market is constantly changing and we’ve adapted ad:s in response to the evolving needs of our clients. The service has expanded beyond a programmatic display to include programmatic video, digital out-of-home and native publisher products.
One aspect that I’m excited about is the introduction of a paid social media service. With more than three billion people worldwide engaging with social media each month, operators are prioritizing social media as an acquisition channel and increasing their spend accordingly.
We’re able to deeply integrate the ad:s technology into the META social media platforms, which enable operators to more effectively engage with sports fans. Paid social media advertising can have a transformative impact for sports betting operators and we can help them achieve strong ROI for their business by driving meaningful fan engagement across social channels.