For both esports suppliers and live streaming products, the landscape has dramatically evolved over the past year, therefore winning awards in both categories is a significant testament to the continually improving product of Betradar.
Detailing how it continues to develop and ensure that it stays ahead, Warren Murphy, MD Betting & Gaming spoke to SBC after Betradar received the SBC awards for Best Live Streaming Product and esports Supplier of the Year.
SBC: Firstly, it’d be great to hear how much it means for Betradar to win these awards?
Warren Murphy: We are really proud of these two awards. When we reviewed the awards a few months back, we felt that there were categories which we had won in the past and where our strong and credible reputation were already established. So for 2017, we decided to throw our hat into rings were we were sure that our offering is market-leading, but where we weren’t sure if the market had quite come to understand our strength. To walk away from those more ‘risky’ categories with two trophies is a real vindication of our philosophy, investment and value.
SBC: As a leading esports supplier, how much have you witnessed the industry grow over the past year?
WM: As at today, it feels like one of 2017’s clichés to talk about the growth of esports. But the fact remains, it is an incredibly exciting ecosystem that is taking many sectors by storm. Prize money keeps increasing, sponsorship deals are getting heftier, broadcast arrangements are developing, and the number of lawyers and consultants orbiting the space is growing. That’s a sure fire way to track whether an industry is on the up!
SBC: Can you tell us about how you ensure that you stay ahead in an industry that so burgeoning?
WM: First of all, to be a credible provider of esports services, you need to really understand esports. This may sound obvious, but even though we have a dedicated team in-house who are dye in the wool esports enthusiasts and players, we made a very conscious decision to partner up with experts such as ESL, ESIC and DOJO Madness to really upgrade and interrogate our assumptions and offerings. They were the vital sense and quality check to ensure that what we deliver into the market really resonates with what is undoubtedly one of the most passionate but unforgiving audiences around.
Secondly, to deliver offerings to operators, we had to be able to look our clients and other potential clients in the eyes and tell them that this product will add value. We were staggered to see how some companies in this space were willing to go out to market first with a product they must have known didn’t cut it. We have worked too hard and too long as a company to build a reputation for Betradar that we were not prepared to sacrifice for short term wins. So we make sure that we put the needs and priorities of our clients first. If the product is not fit for market, it doesn’t go into the market. The number of clients we picked up, some who came to us after being burnt, really underpins the award we took home this month.
SBC: With regards to Live Streaming, how much have the desires of the consumer increased over the past couple of years?
WM: There is no genius in saying that streams support betting. It is a long understood truth. But what has been evolving is the appetite for streams to support betting at all times. Consumers have always wanted to see the NBA when they bet on it and we are happy to provide our operator clients with that content and data through our official partnership. But consumers have broadened their desire for content. They are coming to expect to be able to watch and bet on all, not some, of the sports they love. So the need to have a large, international, multi-sport portfolio has become increasingly urgent. That was some of the reasoning behind our acquisition of the sportsman group back in 2015 and it has allowed us to roll out an unmatched 38,000 matches a year.
SBC: How much of an important element is the increasing need for data in the way that consumers watch sport?
WM: This question is right on the money. The future of all audiovisual is to see how data and insights can supplement the streams or indeed can be overlaid or added via Augmented Reality. This is a trend we saw a while back and is part of the reason why the bundling of audiovisual rights with data is something we are very focused on.
Our federation and league partners are understanding how that bundling, delivered by an organisation such as Betradar, who are genuine experts in both fields, is the key to delivering engagement, insight and extra value. This is true for betting of course, but it is becoming part of casual sport fan expectations as they look to second screen, or overlays, or deeper half time analyses, or AR experiences at home or in-stadium. Sportradar is across all of that already because of our cutting edge partnerships across US sports, tennis, handball, esports etc so it stands to reason that when it comes to betting, where we really are on our home court, we tend to be the first people leagues, federations and betting operators call when they want to get to grips with this trend.