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Sportradar: The marketing do’s and don’ts for bookmakers to get the most out of 2024’s big summer of football

Niki Beier, SVP, Marketing Services at Sportradar breaks down what bookmakers need to know ahead of coming international football tournaments like the Euros and Copa America.

niki in depth

Did you know that European bookmakers saw 15% of their annual deposits during the last UEFA European Championship, a nearly 90% increase on the average month that year?

As major international football tournaments like the Euros or Copa America occur only every four years and generate considerable media attention and national excitement, it’s no surprise they offer significant customer acquisition potential for operators.

However, there are some key do's and dont's to achieve marketing success.

At Sportradar, the data processed through our industry-specific ad:s marketing service offers valuable insights into fans’ betting behaviour, allowing operators to personalise their campaigns to deliver the right advert to the right customer on the right channel, at the right time.

Drawing on statistics taken from over 80 global brands using betting-specific programmatic Demand-Side-Platform (DSP) during EURO 2020, played between June to July 2021, here are my top tips for the major tournaments ahead:

1. Do: Launch your campaigns early

Sportradar data from EURO 2020 shows that betting intent starts to rise about four weeks before tournament kickoff, once domestic seasons have concluded.

Recommendation: Start your campaigns early to capitalise on this growing interest, long before the opening whistle blows. Getting the ball rolling well ahead of time will secure sign-ups in plenty of time ahead of the big kick-off.

2. Don't: Overlook the importance of brand awareness

Our research shows that operators who invest in brand visibility have strong acquisition advantages. Greater brand awareness creates increased familiarity, trust and purchase intent, which our data shows delivers a more than 20% increase in deposits and a 10% superior Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) performance on average. 

Recommendation: Strengthening your brand campaigns should be a priority using branding-focused channels like Video, Audio and Digital-Out-Of-Home (DOOH), which can provide you with an edge over your competitors via boosted reach to your target audience. Enhanced brand awareness and recall also improves performance and acquisition marketing, with end customers being primed to recognise, trust and engage with your offering.

3. Do: Plan adequate budget

Our insights from the last EUROs show that bookmakers increased their monthly marketing spend by 94% during the tournament. With Sportradar’s DSP attracting almost three times as many new customers during 2021’s competition compared to a typical month that year, it’s essential to anticipate this substantial increase in costs and allocate the necessary spend to execute impactful campaigns.

Recommendation: Implement forecasting and reporting tools for effective budgeting and maximizing return on marketing investment during all stages of the competition, so you are not surprised by surging overall costs and maximise this unmissable acquisition opportunity.

4. Don't: Generalise your marketing efforts

Ad:s’ analysis of aggregated data on deposit origins before and during EURO 2020 showed that 40% of deposits came from active customers (who have placed a bet in the last 30 days), 36% from new customers and 24% from infrequent bettors (registered customers who haven’t placed a bet in the last 30 days). The number of unique users during the tournament also increased by more than 500% compared to the previous 11 months. A common mistake therefore is employing a one-size-fits-all approach for these different customer segments.

Recommendation: Customise your targeting, creative and messaging not only to new bettors, but also to existing and infrequent customers to achieve a maximum number of deposits. Personalising messaging to individual customers across different audiences will provide more engagement and is easily achieved through our AI and data-driven insights and deep understanding of sports betting behaviour.

5. Do: Factor in timing for promotions

Our data shows that the busiest times for first-time deposits during EURO 2020 occurred at 6pm local time on match days, so optimising your marketing activities around peak hours is critical to maximise sign-ups, deposits and campaign efficiency.

Sportradar delivered 176% higher first-time deposits (FTDs) during the tournament than the previous 11 months. This means our DSP attracted almost three times as many new customers as in a typical month.

Additionally, the average FTD amount was 36% higher than a typical month, driving greater return on investment for campaigns delivered through Sportradar ad:s.

Recommendation: Use targeting tailored to sports schedules like ad:s’ integrated sports calendar targeting feature, so your most compelling campaigns are automatically focused on peak periods during matchdays.

6. Don't: Underestimate national sentiment

We have seen significant spikes in betting activity on EURO matchdays in countries where the national team is playing. In fact, our data has shown daily increases of more than 70% in first-time deposits (FTDs) in a country when its national team qualifies for the knockout stage. Failing to craft country-specific campaigns overlooks this strong engagement driver. EURO 2020 also showed that team success on the pitch translates to lower first-time deposit cost-per-acquisition (FTD CPA), with winning team Italy decreasing by more than 2.5 times.

Recommendation: Creative automation tools like ad:s Dynamic Display allow you to automatically update your campaigns with localised promotions and messaging. This resonates with fans and capitalises on the national excitement and anticipation of match days, helping to drive your target market campaigns.

7. Do: Be dynamic in your campaign management

Flexibility is key, so adapting strategies based on ongoing data can help you stay ahead. During the last EUROs, we saw significant fluctuations in acquisition costs at various stages of the competition, heavily correlating with the advancement of the respective local teams. Specifically, the FTD CPA during game days of the knockout stage was 25% lower than during the previous 11 months, while on the day before the final FTD CPAs were 53% lower, meaning new customers are acquired for less and campaign spend is maximised. The dynamic nature of premier football tournaments demands you be agile in your campaign management to react to developments on and off the pitch.

Recommendation: Adapt your ad spend and campaign structure based on real-time analytics to not miss out on dynamic market developments. Channels where you have the chance to adjust your spend dynamically without having to commit all the budget in advance should be favoured.

Conclusion

By sticking to these recommendations, you can supercharge tournament campaigns beyond just tweaked visuals and copy, putting yourself in a position to grow your sportsbook.

At Sportradar ad:s, we combine advanced data analytics with proprietary, industry-specific marketing tools to help you navigate the complexities of betting marketing for the world’s largest and most popular sporting events, providing you with everything you need for unrivalled acquisition success.

Let’s make this year’s European Championship and Copa America not only about celebrating football but also about celebrating smart, effective marketing victories.

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