The Super Bowl marks one of the major sporting moments of the year, with the event watched by an estimated 160 million people around the world. Keir Adams, Senior Trader at SBTech, provided some insight on SBTech’s market-leading sportsbook, which powers premium gaming brands in the USA and Europe.
Prominence of the Super Bowl…
The Super Bowl has similarities to the Grand National in that for many players across Europe, it is the one time of year they place a bet. Therefore we know we have to create and deliver innovative, exciting markets and specials for our partners that they can apply to incentivise their own customer acquisition.
In 2019, we experienced a significant increase in the volume of bets received and turnover in comparison to regular season games. This, coupled with SBTech’s significant growth in the past 12 months, particularly through entering the American market, has seen the volume of bets taken again significantly increase, and we have comfortably surpassed 2019’s total, even with a few days remaining.
Creating new markets…
In a regular season game, we will offer around 120 markets. For this game, this extends to over 375 (with more constantly being added), with 250 specials available.
This extensive offering essentially creates a ‘menu’ as such for SBTech partners, and they can select what they would like to include to cater for their audience. We know some of our partners have a customer base more engaged in NFL, and they will utilise everything that is on offer to ensure they are providing a fantastic offer for their customers.
On the field, we will introduce ‘What happens first’ markets along with numerous markets that focus on individual players. Quarterbacks are unsurprisingly a focus, especially with Patrick Mahomes featuring, and we have created a host of markets that focus on his (and other players’) outputs.
One example is a player will be able to bet on how many different players throw the ball on Sunday evening – a nod back to 2018 with Trey Burton’s ‘Philly Special’ touchdown throw to Nick Foles.
The team will work both proactively and with partners in creating these markets. We will be pricing up different scenarios and our partners will also reach out to us, wanting to create new markets and opportunities for their players.
Extending the game…
We will create markets that aren’t necessarily directly related to the on-field activity, and it is important that at SBTech, we can offer our partners a range of innovative markets. This will extend to the length of the national anthem, Shakira’s running order for the half-time show, and almost anything you can think of surrounding the coin toss. For a long time it has been an established market in cricket, but less so in NFL (particularly regular season games), and that is something we will offer for Sunday, and could look to extend this into the regular season in 2020.
Standing out from the crowd…
Understandably, our partners want to provide a unique experience for their customers. They want to provide a differentiated offer that is customised to their audience. We have been able to deliver that and have worked with our partners to create bespoke markets and support them with a pricing strategy.
It is imperative that we align with our operators’ strategies. If they make a decision to be aggressive in a particular market, then it is something that we can facilitate. They know their customer best and want to create a product that works for them, and we certainly help power that.
This could even extend to something seemingly straightforward such as the coin toss. One partner has adopted a different pricing strategy from its competitors to incentivise its customers, and our flexible approach has meant we have been able to facilitate this, as well as take on the liability management for them.
What is interesting at this stage is the USA-Europe split. In Europe we are seeing the market lean more toward the Chiefs, but in the US the trend is leaning more toward the 49ers.
Since entering the NFL, Mahomes has been excellent, and perhaps his ‘highlight-friendly’ style of exciting runs and big throws is what strikes a chord with the more casual bettor, which could explain what we are seeing here.
To find out more about SBTech’s trading team and work in sports betting please get in touch or come by our stand (S3-110) at ICE this week.