Gamification Is Coming Soon to an Arena Near You. Wanna Bet?

Contributed by Todd San Jule, Vice President of Strategy

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One of the big winners of this week’s election was the Sports Betting industry. Voters in three more states - Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota - approved measures to legalize sports betting. That brings the total to 25 states that have legalized sports betting, an incredible number given it’s only been 2 ½ years since the United States Supreme Court overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

Since PASPA was repealed in May 2018, more than $28 billion has been legally wagered on sports events in the United States, generating nearly $2 billion in revenue for sports book operators and more than $250 million in tax revenue for states (1). By the year 2025, industry experts estimate the US sports betting market will generate somewhere between $7.6bn to $8.5bn in revenue, as more states continue to come on board (2).

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Several Venuetize clients have recently dipped their toes into the sports betting waters by signing sponsorship deals with sports book operators. They include the PGA TOUR’s partnership with DraftKings, the Memphis Grizzlies inking a sponsorship deal with FanDuel, and the Detroit Red Wings tapping BetMGM as a strategic partner.

In states where mobile sports betting is not yet legal, other Venuetize clients have started bringing free to play (FTP) gaming options to their fan base. For the past two seasons, the Miami Dolphins have been operating Make The Call, a free-to-play sports prediction game within its app. 

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It’s no surprise that professional teams are using gamification to increase engagement with their fans. Estimates are that 90% of fans are using their mobile phone as a companion device while watching a sporting event - whether that’s betting on the game, playing Daily Fantasy, checking game stats or talking smack with other fans on social media platforms.

Earlier this NFL season, FanDuel launched a FTP game called Duel PlayAction, which allows fans to wager on the result of each drive or predict the outcome of the next play. Through the first 3 weeks of the season, FanDuel surpassed well over 900,000 total wagers placed on the platform, with players averaging 36 bets per game (3).

As a technology leader in the sports & entertainment space, with dozens of clients across 8 professional sports leagues, Venuetize is expanding its Platform with a set of Gamification products that teams can plug into their existing mobile application. Fans in the venue or at home will be able to download their favorite Team app and (depending on the jurisdiction) place wagers using real or virtual currency, answer questions and make predictions, all the while competing against other fans for prizes including team memorabilia and food and beverage credit at the stadium. Some lucky fans may even have a chance to take the floor, field or ice for chances to win game tickets or seat upgrades.

Stay tuned for additional updates, and if you are interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to reach out to Todd San Jule, VP of Strategy at Venuetize, at tsanjule@venuetize.com.

(1) Legal Sports Report
(2) Morgan Stanley Report and JP Morgan Report
(3) SportsHandle

Mobile Gamification and Content Delivery: The New Frontier for Sports & Entertainment Brands

Sports and entertainment brands are meeting their fans where they spend the most time – on their mobile devices. They’re already making it easy for audiences to engage year-round – and personalize their experience when they visit the venue for an event.

But, cord-cutting, augmented reality and a host of other technology developments are changing the ways people watch games and events live. This puts companies like Twitter, Facebook, and a host of streaming upstarts in a position to monetize the content that teams and brand can and should own.

But the right mobile strategy – and underlying platform – can put brands back in control and ensure they’re capitalizing on the huge revenue opportunity that is just waiting to be unlocked. With the right combination of strategies, sports and entertainment brands can and should:

  • Offer immersive and engaging augmented reality content
  • Take control of streaming rights and deliver engaging content to superfans at every point of their journey to the arena
  • Monetize streamed content with contextually-relevant advertising that takes into account fans’ behavior, preferences and location

Use Case

A family of four visits the arena for a game. On the way, passengers in the car  enjoy access to streamed content from the arena that is available only to those that sign up for the team loyalty program.

At the game, with new, immersive offerings, everyone in the famly can take advantage of fun activities during the game, like voting on the next play, or which player will score next via the team app on their mobile device. Simply adding these opportunities takes fans from passive viewers, to active participants in the game.

The next time someone on the team scores, everyone who guessed correctly could receive exclusive AR video of the player who scored, as well as other related content that they’d be incented to share with their social networks. For each share, they might receive a certain number of loyalty points toward purchasing that player’s jersey or something else at the arena.

Moving forward, based on the ways that the fan interacts with and uses the content that has been shared with them, brands can begin to make assumptions about what the interests of the person who uses that particular device and serve up personalized advertising and content to him or her whenever they interact with the team app, attend a game, or watch via their device.

The Opportunity

With the right data and analytics – and a creative approach to content, blackout management, and rights, teams, brands, and venues can begin to monetize content in new ways, and increase their presence and control on the platforms fans use both in the arena, and at home.  We predict big changes in the ways brand deliver content — and fans consume it — over the coming year.