SBC News Yoav Ziv, LSports: will 2024 be the year of data and retention?

Yoav Ziv, LSports: will 2024 be the year of data and retention?

As we approach the tenth month of this year, many of us are beginning to take stock of what has taken place in 2023. For LSports, it’s been a busy few months to say the least, with a new brand evolution, new products, acquisitions, events and partnerships all making the news this year. 

According to Yoav Ziv, Chief Revenue Officer at LSports, this is just the tip of the iceberg, with big plans in place going into 2024. 

Speaking at SBC Summit Barcelona, Ziv took the time out to sit down with SBC Media to discuss some of the milestones from this year and why he believes 2023 has been the ‘year of retention’ for the sports betting industry.

He began: “Looking back at 2023, there are two main things that were stand-out announcements for us. The first was the acquisition of STATSCORE, which is a scouting company consisting of approximately 700 scouts. This gave us the opportunity to add another pillar into how we collect and distribute data. We don’t just have web scouting and computer vision, but we now also have manual scouting too. 

“The second thing would be our new product, Sport Expert Chat, or SEC for short. Essentially, this is our own twist on ChatGPT. It’s a large language model that we have developed using our own proprietary technology – except this one is dedicated just to sports betting. These two milestones really have been the cherry on top of what has been a truly fantastic year for LSports.”

The development of SEC came about after seeing the growth of large language models and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) across the sports betting industry, Ziv explained.

In the CRO’s view, features such as this can hold the key to delivering a more bespoke solution for player engagement and retention – something which has become increasingly important at a time of skyrocketing acquisition costs.

Ziv continued: “In the past year or so, we’ve seen that there’s a lot of sportsbooks looking to increase player retention. A lot of operators were investing heavily in player acquisition – but as we’re seeing in the US, it’s upwards of $2,000 to acquire a player, which is crazy. So now, many sportsbooks are looking for unique solutions to keep their players on their website. 

“Previously, these operators were just looking at mechanisms such as bonuses. But now, we’re seeing much more demand for more bespoke engagement solutions and products. We just combined some of the hottest trends – ChatGPT, large language models and AI – with sports betting. That led us to create SEC.”

Traditionally speaking, many sportsbooks have adopted strategies such as bonuses, free spins and free bets to try to engage bettors. This may then be complemented by upgrades to the user interface, or perhaps even more coverage of different sports.

And for a time, this was an effective way of getting players to visit your website. But as betting markets across the world are becoming flooded with more sportsbooks, this is no longer enough. 

Instead, Ziv believes that technology should be front and centre of any engagement strategy. This, he noted, will be what separates the leaders from the rest of the competition.

He said: “As we approach 2024, technology is at the centre of everything we do. And so it should be. Sportsbooks are looking for more unique, advanced solutions based on AI to increase retention. 

“We’ve already mentioned SEC, which is the cherry on top of what we’re doing here at LSports. But we also have a range of other engagement tools such as our BetBooster, which is an AI-based product for betting tips across both pre-match and in-play. 

“We have more than 100 partners using this product today, including big names such as Parimatch, William Hill, STS, Sportingtech’s customers and BetConstruct’s customers too.”

Putting the social in betting

Towards the end of this year, LSports also plans to debut a new, social-led product. Ziv continued:  “We will soon be launching our new product called Points in Play, or PIP for short. PIP will allow us to deliver social gaming around different events within a game. 

“For example, if there is a penalty during a game, you can ask players whether the goalie will save it, whether the ball will hit the top left or right corner etc. Then you can play for free and become more involved in the actions of the game.

“Any winnings can then be converted into real money. But the main purpose of this feature is to increase the loyalty of players and to create a more unique experience so that they would want to come back to your site.”

If discussions that are taking place at industry conferences are anything to go by, social gaming is likely to become the ‘next big thing’ for sports betting in 2024, especially when it comes to creating a more holistic engagement strategy. 

For LSports, social gaming may also be the cement needed to build a solid foundation for player communities – as seen on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and X. It is on these platforms that many players engage with different sports after all.

Ziv said: “Through our research, we saw that players are only staying on a betting site for an average of three minutes, which isn’t much time at all. So by coming up with new ways to increase player loyalty, we can keep players coming back. 

“What we really want to do is create a community of players. We’ve seen companies outside of the industry create something social. We want to do something similar but for sports betting. 

“People will be able to see other people’s achievements, what they bet on, what scores they got etc. People have a reason to come back because it creates a bit more of a competitive element with gaming.”

It’s all about data

LSports has already established itself as a leading force within the sports data space. But going into 2024, the company has grand plans to solidify this position even further. 

The way LSports plans to do this is by revamping the way it collects and distributes data to its network of partners.

“Most of our competitors are relying mostly on scouts, whether that be people watching the games on TV or physically going to the venues. But at LSports, we decided to offer a 360 degree view of the market. To achieve this, we combined three different methods in order to have the best data collection possible,” Ziv noted.

The first method, he explained, is a solution which has taken inspiration from the “wisdom of the crowd” theory. In simple terms, this is a theory which assumes that large crowds, or groups of people, are collectively smarter than one individual acting alone. 

So what does this have to do with LSports’ data solutions? Good question.

Ziv told SBC that many of LSports’ solutions draw upon a pool of data sources – 150 to be exact – to create the most accurate package for its partners. This is then enhanced by data collected by scouts acquired through STATSCORE.

He continued: “We have Computer Vision, which is our own fully automated technology that collects data from livestreams. And then we have web scouting, which is done both automatically and manually by browsing public forums online and collecting data from these sources. We’re talking about 150 different sources.

“With so much data, we have a view on everything that is happening in the market. We are seeing everything. That, I believe, creates the most complete solution for our partners. It also helps drive accuracy rates to new heights. 

“Since we’re using so much data, latency is at its lowest possible point, meaning we can compare with different data sources to make sure that we have the same accurate data before we distribute this to our partners.

This data doesn’t just have benefits for the end player, but it can also have its uses for trading departments too. 

Ziv concluded: “Trade360 is harnessing the power of data that we have collected from all the sources we mentioned above. We’re giving that power of data to our customers. By using Trade360, our customers can decide which resources they would like to use to aggregate their data. They can draw upon a number of different sources. 

“This allows for segmentation of data too – our African customers can base their data on African sources, our US customers can use sources stateside. So it really allows customers to actually use sports data in a more unique way. 

“It’s not just shared by operators worldwide, but it also allows you to personalise the data you offer to the customer and segment that according to players’ needs.”


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