Backed by a high-coverage media campaign across talkSport’s network, September saw the UK debut of new football trading platform Footstock.
A fresh arrival from Germany, Footstock merges popular fantasy football engagements with in-depth player trading components, seeking to become the best value and most rewarding football trading platform for all football fans. CMO James Copeland gives SBC the lowdown on Footstock’s UK ambitions…
SBC: Hi James, can you please introduce the Footstock trading platform to SBC audiences?
James Copeland (CMO – Footstock GmBH): Sure – Footstock is where player trading meets fantasy football. Our users can build and shape a collection of footballing stars by buying and selling players on the Footstock market, and then use their collection to win cash prizes in fantasy football contests against other users. After a £250,000 crowdfunding campaign back in April 2019, we have established a loyal, evangelical and rapidly growing userbase, largely owing to the strength of the product, our speedy adaptability and our dedication to great customer support.
SBC: Entering a new and disrupted decade for sports entertainment, why should betting audiences pay attention to football trading platforms?
JC: Platforms like Footstock give audiences a more tangible stake in the game they love. For me, Footstock’s key distinction is found in the hybrid of instant gratification and the more long-term satisfaction derived from betting on a player’s development over weeks, months or even years. We have plenty of users who have taken advantage of our comprehensive youth offering and bought into young academy players, in the hopes that they’ll become first-team regulars in the future. Equally, other users prefer a more short-term approach, via opening one of our player packs, wagering their players in Stat Clash or entering a fantasy contest.
It gives audiences the option to pursue a more holistic form of gambling: one that focuses less on specific events and outcomes and more on the general success of a player or team. Punters have the opportunity to apply their footballing smarts in the truest sense, rather than falling for the trappings of backing a highly specific outcome.
SBC: Football trading is a fresh and unique business proposition; does it necessarily fit with legacy betting industry components?
JC: In short: football trading is a departure from legacy betting industry components, but it’s Footstock’s additional fantasy football element that really signifies its distinction from more traditional forms of sports betting. The concept of being able to own a stake in a footballer’s success, but also use that stake to enter fantasy contests with other users, is like nothing else out there.
SBC: Footstock aims to merge trading and fantasy football dynamics. What exact elements do you think can be merged effectively to engage wider audiences?
JC: Speak to most football fans and they’ll tell you that they’d love to own a football club. It’s a dream for many. We wanted to create that sense of ownership within the framework of a game, but trading or fantasy on their own aren’t sufficient to do that. Fantasy football managers have a vested interest in how their chosen assets perform, but the fates of their players aren’t tied to real-world finances like they are in real-world club ownership. Equally, trading is too passive: there’s little to do with a player once you’ve bought them.
We wanted to merge the excitement and engagement that fantasy football delivers millions of fans every matchday with the financial stakes of a trading platform. The result is a game that gives users the chance to be rewarded for both their long-term investments and their week-to-week decision making.
SBC: As a new football entertainment business how have you had to rethink your marketing and player engagement strategy under lockdown?
Our key priority when Covid-19 became such a prevalent feature of our day-to-day lives was to place an even greater emphasis on our commitment to ensuring that every single one of our users enjoys Footstock in a healthy and sustainable way. In practical terms, that meant remaining hyper-vigilant for warning signs of problem gambling amongst our users and avoiding any messaging that might be interpreted as taking advantage of the crisis.
In terms of player engagement, our main retention initiative was to launch our Virtual Football engine shortly after domestic football was indefinitely postponed. Whilst not a replacement for the real thing, it entertained our users sufficiently in football’s absence.
SBC: Finally, what are the next steps in Footstock’s development? What should your audiences be anticipating?
JC: We’re on the precipice of releasing our newly designed app, which is a huge moment for Footstock. The new version (internally dubbed “Footstock 2.0”) is not only stunning to look at, but comes jam-packed with loads of great features that our community have been crying out for. In the medium-long term, plans are already in place to branch into new tournaments and leagues, and expansion into new territories is around the corner too. It’s an incredibly exciting time!
James Copeland – CMO – Footstock GMBH