Šarūnas Mazalas, Twain Sport: T-Basket is filling a gap with quick-form content

Over the last few years, we have seen a shifting trend towards short-form, quick and engaging content that captures someone’s attention in the space of a minute. This has become particularly apparent on social media sites.

So it comes as no surprise that Twain Sport has taken a leaf out of TikTok and Instagram’s book when creating its T-Basket hybrid sports product. With games lasting 60 seconds, and whole tournaments held within the space of one hour, this content is short and quick.

Šarūnas Mazalas, Chairman of the Hybrid Sports League which runs Twain Sport, spoke with SBC about the growing popularity of T-Basket and the ways this new sport is engaging with millennial and Gen-Z bettors.

Beginning the discussion, Mazalas walked us through the reason why Twain Sport chose to adopt the format it did for T-Basket, explaining that this product has its own place within mainstream betting offerings.

He said: “Our main partner is BetGames. They are working with a lot of betting operators, and the feedback that we have been receiving has been extremely positive. Our newly created game, T-Basket, is a quick version of traditional basketball. A full tournament only lasts one hour.

“Take the FIFA World Cup, for example. It is hard to make a direct comparison due to the differences in popularity – the World Cup is the most popular tournament globally. But the tournament itself runs over the course of one month. This is considerably longer than the one hour tournaments that we have.

“That quick tournament format is amazing, because there are new betting opportunities every three minutes. It is quite literally right here, right now. It follows the same formats that we’re seeing on social media sites such as Instagram or TikTok. It’s meeting that demand for both quick content and entertainment.”

Upon creating T-Basket, Twain Sport noted that it wanted to emulate the fast-paced nature of virtual sports and combine that with the excitement of reality. This, Mazalas explained, was a driving force behind the decision for games lasting one minute.

During the discussion, talk soon turned towards viewer retention during a sports game. Mazalas pointed our attention towards a new subscription model launched by the NBA in 2019, which aimed to meet the needs of fans that, quite often, do not have the attention span to watch an hour-long game.

Data on game viewing figures were another key factor in deciding why T-Basket content should be fast paced. He said: “We have plenty of data and plenty of numbers. But I would maybe talk about two factors that we know and can share. First of all is the NBA. Commissioner Adam Silver is the person who is always one step ahead compared to other heads of sport. He knows the best way to attract and engage with that audience.

“The NBA saw the number of viewers and the number of subscribers begin to go down. So a few years ago, what they did was offer 10 minute NBA League Pass Subscriptions, or last quarter passes. They saw the number of people watching the full game start to decline. So instead, they thought ‘let’s offer them only the last quarter’.

“The second example would probably be a mini-series. These have become the most popular TV show format in the US; they don’t require long-term commitment from the viewer. This is happening because millennials no longer watch a full sports game or a long running TV series.

“In response to these trends, what we have created is a faster, quicker sports format. It is one that we believe resonates with that exact demand from younger generations.”

Mazalas shared his view that the launch of T-Basket has been very successful for the company. So what next? A new hybrid sport, of course.

Joining the T-Basket product will be the launch of a new hybrid game inspired by football – T-Kick. “We are really excited. To be honest, T-Kick has been created as a new hybrid football game which we will be launching early next year. The pre-season should start as early as January, and the first season soon after in February,” Mazalas continued.

“It is going to be quite similar to T-Basket. It’s going to be head-to-head action over the space of 60 seconds. In the game, there will be two goals and the player that scores the most points will win. And, like T-Basket, the tournament format will take place over the course of one hour.

“We believe that this will be a perfect complementary product to T-Basket. It provides short form, live action with instant results.”

When discussing the opportunities that T-Kick can bring for sports betting operators and for those football fans looking for more content, Mazalas explained that this new game can help fill a gap during the breaks in football fixtures on a weekend.

He concluded: “Let’s take the Premier League as an example. There are a number of games that take place at the weekend, right? A game takes place at midday, one at 3pm and a third in the evening. There are a few hours between each game. What do you do during that time?

“It’s Winter at the moment. No one really wants to go outside when it’s this cold, they want to stay indoors and comfortably sit and watch the football. So in those breaks, I can switch to another tab on my phone and see that there is another tournament for a hybrid game, whether that be T-Kick or T-Basket. It works perfectly for that hour break. I can watch the games or I could even have a bet. It’s great because it’s quick, fast content. It’s real and it’s meeting that demand for new content.”

Watch the full interview HERE

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