At the beginning of 1996, close to 30 years ago, Bill Gates wrote an article entitled “Content is King”.
His entire thesis centred on the belief that content is where much of the real money will be made on the internet, just as it was in broadcasting – and if you fast forward to today, it’s a rather prescient prediction.
But an examination of Gates’ article, and the premise that drove it, is beyond the scope of this piece. Instead, I wanted to take the time to analyse the growing importance of the role that content plays in the sports betting space in the modern age.
I feel like I’m well-placed to opine. My work in the football business has seen me live and operate in distinctly different markets over the past few years – a path inclusive of Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and now London – and I have found, without doubt, that clear commonalities exist in all of them.
I have a lot to share about this space, and will do so over the coming weeks and months. But for the time being I want to hone in on the growing importance of content strategy and how it is increasingly being used as a potent means to acquire customers in the sports betting industry.
Why is this the case? It’s because the sector is becoming increasingly complex – content is now integral to the fan experience. Sports publishing and affiliate businesses have grown in stature due to the fact that they leverage content to attract and retain audiences – ultimately driving revenue through these partnerships.
Well-crafted content enhances engagement and loyalty, contributing to increased betting activity and the bottom line. This has been recognised by the likes of Squawka, LiveScore and Sky Bet – masters of the trade who have independently arrived at the conclusion that content is an integral component of their respective strategies.
This ties into the nature of the beast that so many sports betting operators in the United Kingdom focus on – football. The sport’s global appeal, allied to the convergence of media and betting organisations in terms of their content creation activities, brings an intense emphasis on data-led storytelling.
This convergence is nothing new – it’s something that’s been in gestation since the turn of the century, with much of the early running taking place across the Atlantic Ocean in the content behemoth that is the United States. A natural drip-through, coupled with profitability pressures in recent times, has seen that development accelerated on this side of the pond.
It’s something that’s evident in the journey of the average football fan every matchday. Take the following for an example – they rise on a Tuesday morning and scroll through X (formerly Twitter) while enjoying that first cup of coffee. They note that Everton are on the road at Fulham that evening, going into the tie on the back of three consecutive clean sheets and fresh off a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.
A stylish and informative graphic tells the bettor that André Gomes, the solitary goalscorer in that victory over the Eagles, has scored half of his four goals for the club – in five-and-a-half seasons at Goodison Park – in the space of less than a month. The Portuguese is also finally fully fit after recovering from a serious injury.
That graphic alone inspires the bettor to place a bet on Gomes to score for the Toffees at Craven Cottage – as well as put the Portuguese into their Fantasy Football team – all before finishing their morning coffee.
This is exactly what drives the modern bettor – the average football fan is better-educated than ever and will increasingly read between the lines before placing their bet. Content is the best way to serve them, as well as subtly drive them toward formalising their knowledge into a concrete wager – ideally with the same organisation that delivered them the content in the first place.
This is precisely what we do at Twenty3. We have a long relationship with football across the industry – we work with professional clubs as well as media and sports betting outlets and our Content Toolbox works in step with organisations who recognise the increasing sophistication of the way the modern sports bettor approaches their wager. We satisfy this desire – making the process clean and simple at the same time.
If you’re interested in learning more about what we do as a business, feel free to get in touch with me. I’ll also be attending ICE at the beginning of next month alongside Andrew Cox, one of Twenty3’s Co-CEOs. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re interested in connecting over a coffee or a beer across the few days.
The sports betting industry is booming and Twenty3 has a key role to play in its present and its future. Innovation is going to be at the very heart of the game in the coming years – and innovation is what we do.