Bettors and Fantasy Players Show No Platform Loyalty

Author: Mike Adorno, VP of Communications 

Football is back, and so is the competition for users, engagement and fan/betting dollars. The stakes have never been higher for fantasy sports and sports betting operators. Interest in fantasy and sports betting is at an all-time high, even against the backdrop of COVID-19. Sports stocks are surging, states are reporting record numbers for wagers, and major brands are engaging in partnerships and/or acquisitions to exploit customer acquisition opportunities.

The interest is there, no question, but the loyalty isn’t. A study by HPL Digital Sport found that while fantasy sports fans and sports bettors are just as enthused about sports this year, they are betting fewer dollars overall and feel minimal loyalty to any one site or platform. Three out of five fantasy players and sports bettors reported they did not solely use one platform for gaming and betting. With that, 40% of respondents said that they have scaled back the amount they bet in the past year, 31% reduced the number of bets they make and 30% cut back on the amount of fantasy sports sites on which they play.

So, how does a platform stand to win over the loyalty of their fan base and encourage them to continue playing in this more unpredictable yet more competitive environment?

This market is dominated by similar brands that promote their offerings in the same way to the same people, just with different logos. In a space that is fast-paced and transactional, brands must consider how to create a product that keeps customers interested and engaged. Think about what makes your brand different – a unique content strategy, the types of bets/games offered, the customer experience, the types of influencers, athletes and teams you partner with – and utilize creative media and messaging to make a statement about this.

Be a brand, not a promotion – a recommendation backed by our survey results. HPLDS asked what may sway users into becoming loyal players or bettors with one particular company and 36% said if the ads or promos sent were more personal, witty or connected with them beyond promo codes (e.g., put in $20 and you get a bonus $20 to bet with, refer a friend and get $100 bonus for your account, etc.). Twenty-seven percent said they would be swayed if a company developed relevant content for them (e.g., videos, articles, podcasts, etc.). We find these insights critical, especially with the looming start-and-stop nature of sports today. Should a shutdown become a reality, a brand that does not have a content plan in place and goes dark on its users stands to lose favor with its audience and overall market share. A more thoughtful content and engagement strategy will be necessary to build trust with fans as to why your platform is deserving of their time and money.

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