19 May, 2021

On the Same Page

Ahead of Euro 2021, we catch up with Blaž Žitnik, head of BET at Sportradar, about why engagement tools are more important than ever

What unique challenges or opportunities does the unconventional nature of Euro 2021 provide when creating an immersive betting experience for punters?

The European Championships is always a big competition for football fans, but this tournament holds even greater significance given the delays caused by Covid-19. With a limited number of fans able to attend matches because of the restrictions in place, building excitement and driving engagement with fans on digital channels becomes more important than ever.

From a betting perspective, operators will be relying on stimulated content to deliver this engagement for them. Stimulated content has become a key part of the product mix for operators, with live match trackers and visualisation tools having a growing influence on betting behaviour and leading to increased engagement levels.

These tools create a more immersive experience for bettors, with access to live data and insightful knowledge helping them make a more informed betting decision. Operators that have stimulated content features in place have reported a rise in activity across specific betting markets that may not have previously been of interest to bettors. For example, users are more likely to wager on in-game markets such as corners, cards and free-kicks if they are presented with statistics concerning these areas of a live match.


How does the Live Sports Centre enhance the conventional betting experience for a major tournament?

Presenting punters with static odds will only get a sportsbook so far. Today’s customers are more demanding than ever, and they want reliable, real-time information delivered to them at the moment they’re placing their bets.

The Live Sports Centre pulls together the latest sporting news and betting statistics into one place on an operator’s website, displaying the content in a visually engaging manner. These tools have a positive impact on consumer dwell time and, with all the information in one place, reduce the likelihood of customers navigating away from the site.


Are there any other products which will be introduced ahead of Euro 2021?

Ahead of this summer’s competition, we’re introducing a Tournament Preview widget, which our clients can skin and integrate into their offering. Normally once a betting market is settled, much of the information that accompanies it in the build-up to a match is removed from site.

However, the Tournament Preview widget will provide customers with an overview of the tournament in its entirety including all competition results, previous form, qualification status, league comparison and performance stats. Presenting this level of information is designed to further improve customer session time, increase confidence in bets and generate more revenue.

Additionally, we’ve optimised our Live Match Tracker for use on mobile devices. Mobile remains an important channel for operators and continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments. The Live Match Tracker Compact has been tailored to provide an engaging betting experience for punters wherever they follow the big game. 


Do you anticipate any developing technologies or trends heading into the new season that will aid the engagement of fans further?

Competition in the market is fierce and operators are under increased pressure to keep punters on their pages. This has contributed to a shift from hosted content solutions (that is, on another web page) towards widget solutions, which can be integrated into a specific part of an operator’s website, making it seamlessly integrated into the page. Take, for example, our Head2Head widget that sits on an operator page and offers customers relevant betting information such as form and results over the last five matches, alongside the betting markets they are considering; or Bet Assist with market relevant chunks of stats that can be placed right next to the markets.

What’s interesting is, as we see this convergence of sticky media content come together on betting websites, we’re seeing a reduction in the ‘second screen viewing experience’, where traditionally a bettor would watch sports on TV and place bets via a mobile device.

Now, we have a ‘first screen viewing experience’ where everything a customer requires from his sports entertainment – live stream, live data, match trackers, betting opportunities – is in one, increasingly personalised place.