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Spotlight Sports Group CCO: Engaging, written content increases both volume and stake size

Sam Houlding, chief commercial officer at Spotlight Sports Group, speaks to Gambling Insider about third-party content, arguing that an independent offering can draw more engagement than in-house operator material.


How beneficial can independent content be for operators?

Independent content continues to become an essential consideration for sportsbooks wanting to create a complete ecosystem in which to acquire, engage and retain their customer base most effectively. Some sportsbooks do this fantastically well, leveraging key content across a variety of sports and keeping their customers engaged and informed. It is important to differentiate content from data here, as well. Data serves an important purpose, but it is really about how this can be distilled and expertly crafted into written content to provide customers with a digestible, properly informed service. 

Done correctly, this can be hugely effective when fully integrated directly into betting markets, for example. We’ve conducted some strong research with key partners that shows the clear uplift in betting activity through effective written content integrated, versus betting markets with no written content. From one study that was taken across multiple sports including NFL, tennis and boxing, we found that having seen the content a customer was 39% more likely to place a bet and stakes were 37% higher.

What are the key advantages of third-party content as opposed to in-house?

It really depends on the scale and expertise on which an in-house operation would be built on. For example, across Spotlight Sports Group, we cater for all types of content, from CRM content right through to integrated API-driven bet stimulating insights and verdicts across all sports in 70 languages.

Alongside this, third-party content from a respected source also comes with the hugely underestimated benefit that it is created by expertly trained content creators. These are people who have careers built on delivering the most insightful, well-crafted, bet-stimulating output possible. Throw in the fact that brand or profiles can be used against the content to make it truly independent, which is important considering the reason why customers are on a sportsbook, and the advantages start to rack up quite significantly.    

From one study that was taken across multiple sports including NFL, tennis and boxing, we found that having seen the content a customer was 39% more likely to place a bet and stakes were 37% higher

Would Spotlight Sports Group provide bespoke content on-demand, or are there set types of content you offer that have proven most successful?

A huge amount of our content is bespoke. This normally centres on handwritten CRM, news, blog or social content that delivers a specific requirement for the operator’s audience. Depending on requirements, this can be across multiple languages to provide a consistent global approach for their business.

That said, our Superfeed product also provides a vast ‘set content’ offering by providing short-form insights, verdicts and projections across over 25,000 sporting events on all key betting markets, in over 70 languages. This is the product that directly relates to the success metrics outlined earlier, so we know just how powerful this content engine is.

How do you navigate the challenges of high competition levels when it comes to content and also SEO rankings?

It is simply about how you differentiate. We feel the scale we offer through both the number of sports and languages gives us a unique offering. Couple this with our facilities, which includes 30+ state-of-the-art studios, and we are able to service any content requirements from the written word, right through to pre-recorded or even live shows previewing any event in any language.

With regards to SEO, this is something our group specialises in, with our 500+ content creators and multiple editors all delivering against unique SEO-driven strategies for betting operators globally. It is of course something we need to specialise in, being media owners ourselves and with this consideration forming such a key part of our strategy. 

How does this offering/strategy differ for Spotlights Sports Group in the US?

The short answer is there is no difference. The talent we employ to create US sports betting content is based in the US and comprises US sports betting specialists. In taking our services globally it is critical we cater for local markets through content teams that live and breathe the favoured sports and ways to bet within those marketplaces.

Most importantly, however, we have our own B2C media operation in the US through the fast-growing Pickswise platform, so have already equipped ourselves to be able to offer an expert, specialised B2B content service.

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