In a major development for both Digitain and Simon Westbury, the Aremia-based betting and gaming tech firm announced earlier this year that its long-serving Chief Business Officer would be assuming duties as CEO of Sport Generate.
Reflecting on his first few months in the position with SBC Media, Westbury described adjusting to his new responsibilities as a ‘whirlwind’, but observed that development and growth of Sport Generate is just around the corner.
He remarked: “It was time for me to move into a different role, and Sport Generate’s success is exciting. As a concept it’s all in the name, we generate sports, and I’ve already done some organisational things.”
Kickstarting his new role, Westbury explained that Sport Generate plans to have four divisions, the first being its live sports product encompassing in house developed table tennis, and esports.
The second division will consist of the group’s in-house virtual sports offering, the third will provide its odds feed product, and the fourth and final will revolve around ‘buying data rights and live scale and streaming rights’ to provide OTT and managed trading services.
Taking on leadership of Sport Generate as CEO has understandably come with a lot of changes, Westbury noted, adding: “When you’re Chief Business Officer your focus is on burning in revenue. Now I also have to look at costs and building product.
“My focus will not just be on the operators we aim to sell to but the end customer of the operator – I think many B2B companies focus on the operator, but are not looking much at the end customer.”
In both his CBO role and new CEO function, a key challenge Westbury and the Digitan Group has had to address is differentiation, both in terms of a product offering and customer preferences.
“We were lucky we had table football launch just as the pandemic hit. I wouldn’t say that table tennis is niche, there’s a lot of it out there, but the challenge we have is differentiating ourselves in the market and with finding space to build the studios.
“We have another building going up in Armenia for this. It’s abouts synchronising everything to get it right. With esports you need studios, and space can be a challenge.
When meeting changing customer demands, Sport Generate has a key advantage in its team, Westbury argued, many of whom come from the younger generation that is increasingly consuming esports content.
“The esports punter is different to the sports punter. Live streamed sports are very focused on the younger generation, such as Gen Z – you’re looking at the 18-31 year-old bracket, and you have to tap into that.”
On the topic of sports, however, another notable development for Digitain in the past year was the commencement of its partnership with Luis Figo, the former Barcleona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan winger.
As Westbury moves forward with an evaluation of Sport Generate’s vision and objectives as part of the wider Digitain group, he noted parallels between Figo’s career and the company’s own trajectory.
He said: “Figo showed a strong character to go from Barcelona to Real Madrid, and where Digitain has come over the past 20 years is amazing and you have to have that strength. He really matches our strength of character and what you need to succeed.”
Widening his outlook, the new CEO looked away from just Sport Generate to reflect on the benefits of being part of the wider ‘functional family’ that is the Digitain Group.
Being part of the firm has enabled Sport Generate to ‘lean’ on a solid structure and resources’, making the brand ‘a blank piece of paper’ for Westbury to test and strengthen his capabilities as a CEO, he added.
“It’s Digitain Group now, not just Digitain,” he continued, pointing out that the four different stands the firm set up at the ExCel at ICE London back in February as testament to its past and future expansion.
“We’ve grown amazingly in the last three and a half years, and we have our fantastic new office. Everything we do is focused on quality, and we have become that big now that we have separated out our core product.
“The growth has been phenomenal, and has been facilitated by excellent sales and product teams. Sometimes a family can become too big though, and so we’ve split it into some smaller families, and the children have left home and have new houses to grow.”