2012 – Social betting…have you thought about the opportunities?


With one of the biggest sporting events to ever come to the UK  is set to launch in a year where consumers are becoming more bet savvy and trends continue to lean in favour of peer-to-peer, social and novelty bets. In just 24 weeks an estimated audience of one billion will be tuning in to watch an Opening Ceremony fit for Kings, who’s with me on betting that something will go wrong…at 10/1 the UK could make back 0.1% of whats been spent in preparation for this event, in one night – just kidding…but the point is because of our hosting status there are much higher levels of engagement from UK residents (cynical or not).

Gaming companies have a huge opportunity to channel this engagement into revenue and in order to be a leading brand in capturing this, the preparation must begin. I’m going to look at a few different areas of opportunity just to give you some food for thought;

Social: capture a global audience

One of the main things that has set Facebook and other social channels apart from traditional methods of advertising is the opportunity to capture an audience from all over the globe. Looking at the other side of things, many apps such as Zynga Poker have been so successful due to drawing in audiences who aren’t allowed to engage in online gambling being allowed to get involved in the game play (i.e US). So if you take the two concepts of firstly the opportunity of the global audience and secondly being able to bypass regulation that restricts many companies from getting involved then add in the buzz around sports, you can quickly see that if you’re not already exploring the options your competitors will be!

A study into Facebook behaviour revealed that 47% of users use Facebook/Twitter as their main source of news and online entertainment. So now we have a huge target audience, information sources, engagement with the event and a platform that is known for its entertaining value…let me introduce gaming opportunity!

Facebook apps could take a number of different forms, for example,

  • Informative app (i.e. the latest odds, fixtures ect)
  • Low involvement campaigns (competitions)
  • High involvement social games (peer-to-peer betting, actual game play, fantasy games)

2bet2 which is a social betting game that allows for peer to peer gambling and betting against the house. Users must purchase virtual currency to play, which has no redeemable monetary value and instead the idea is to work your way through levels, leagues and leaderboards by trying to amass as many ‘BB$’ as possible. You can choose from a range of real sporting events and even create your own club for friends. Clearly with the amount of development that an app like this would require, it would be focussed on acquisition and converting non-paying into paying customers.

The creation of low-involvement campaigns and competitions should be about gaining viral traction within Facebook to promote a brand name – if your game resonates with consumers at the time that one of the greatest sporting event is happening, then it is likely to result in positive association.

Fantasy football has been done for many years with great success, what about Fantasy teams or going up H2H with a mate in the Mens Decathalon where you both choose your man for the job and bet on who will win – anything that deepens the relationship between the consumer and the event will receive good traction, as long as it still seems like a bit of fun with a mate… taking the odds out of things makes the who idea of betting much less ‘scary’ and doesn’t leave the novices feeling like morons.

Novelty Betting: focus on the key events and top names

In previous blogs and the recently released White Paper (Social Apps & the Gaming Industry) we have talked about the emergence of ‘softer’ betting trends. The games this summer are perfect to capitalise on these trends, first because it is an international event which inspires nations to get behind their athletes and support them in their campaign for victory. Secondly there are a lot of different personalities from all over the world that are easily recognised, this familiarity helps consumers to feel more at ease when making bets. As well as this there are so many different situations that could occur, creating opportunities for people to wager i.e. England will drop the baton in the men’s 4×100 relay.


The growth in mobile apps means that consumers are going to be able to find out exactly what events are going on, what the drama is surrounding that event, the results, news – everything is going to be live updates 24/7 …more people than ever before are going to be talking about the Olympics – FACT! Conversation creates debate and with debate comes the opportunity to ‘dare’ consumers to put their money where their mouth is and if you can create a peer-to-peer app that can be immediately accessed through mobile it is going to appeal to a wide audience.

Now is the time to be considering how your organisation is going to make the most of the greatest sporting event in the world this summer, there are many ways of connecting with all sorts of consumer, whether you target a large or niche segment. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss the opportunities for your organisation further.




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