Just over a year ago, Sportradar continued a “natural and necessary evolution” of its global business by rolling out ad:s – a full-service marketing suite for sports betting stakeholders.
We caught up with Rainer Geier, Sportradar’s Managing Director of Digital Platforms and Advertising Solutions, to discuss development of the Marketing Cloud, the benefits it brings for operators through the ad:s service, and what separates it from other solutions on the market.
SBC: What new features will we see from ad:s at ICE London 2020?
RG: In terms of ad:s, over the past 12 months we’ve placed a big focus on developing the Sportradar Marketing Cloud – a one-stop digital marketing platform that allows the easy management and execution of all activities through one customised, highly intuitive performance dashboard.
Sitting alongside our sponsorship element, both underneath the ad:s umbrella, Sportradar Marketing Cloud focuses on evaluation, education, execution and enablement for operators – all with marketing efficiency in mind.
As well as the dashboard and its various reporting features, Sportradar Marketing Cloud also features valuable customer insights via the betting-specific Data Management Platform (DMP), Media Buying via direct, pop under and programmatic technology, plus Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO), the Sports Calendar API and Tag Manager.
These additions, packaged in a scalable, flexible solution, ensure operators can get the most from their marketing expenditure.
SBC: Can you tell us more about the technology behind the Sportradar Marketing Cloud?
RG: Sportradar has been built on cutting-edge technology and quality data and ad:s is the latest step on that journey. Our unique audience insights allow the segmentation and targeting of customers based on their level of engagement towards a particular sport, team or competition, their likelihood to bet as well as their predicted lifetime value as a customer – all of which help deliver a better ROI for our clients.
Our purpose-built Demand Side Platform (DSP) powers betting-specific programmatic advertising to target and acquire customers in the most efficient way. Operators can then deliver messaging and collateral to specific audiences through direct media buying from our exclusive inventory pool.
At ICE, guests will also get a look at some of the other unique new features we have in the pipeline as part of the Marketing Cloud’s evolution – an industry specific DCO, serving high-performance dynamic conversion products, fuelled by Sportradar’s unique advanced insights content engine.
Tied into that is the calendar scheduling API, allowing operators to focus their investment around the biggest and best global events across the year.
SBC: How has ad:s developed since its launch a year ago?
RG: Beyond those features above, the scale of ad:s and the Sportradar Marketing Cloud has also developed significantly. Over 100 million unique IDs now populate our DMP and we have extended its coverage into new regions globally, making our targeting and segmentation capabilities even more precise. We also now have access to over one billion ad impressions on a monthly basis.
Despite only launching 12 months ago, upwards of 70 clients in more than 40 different countries are now benefiting from the increased performance efficiency this is enabling.
SBC: What does the next 12 months look like for ad:s and what does that mean for operators?
RG: We expect to see greater interest in our Sportradar Marketing Cloud and will continue to focus on growing its scale, data intelligence, technology and UX capabilities. This, for the first time, will give operators a single, betting-dedicated platform, from which all of their digital marketing campaigns can be managed.
SBC: Can you describe ad:s Marketing Cloud and some of the benefits it can give operators?
RG: There are four key stages in the journey operators take using the marketing cloud and accompanying benefits for each, starting with evaluation, which uses a real-time performance dashboard that allows you to measure and respond to the right KPIs.
Data-driven audience insights are then used for very precise targeting and segmentation before bookmakers leverage a range of proprietary marketing technologies purpose-built for the betting industry.
Finally, the execution stage features unique sector-relevant features for effective campaign management and control.
SBC: Are you able to go into more detail on the technology that powers ad:s and how it has been developed?
RG: It was always a big motivation for us that the ad:s platform should be built from our own capabilities from within, rather than licensed externally – and therefore we have invested significantly in proprietary technology.
This strategy has allowed us to focus exclusively on the factors that influence the betting consumer, ensuring full control over any new feature we focus on and allowing complete integration with other Sportradar services. Our DSP, DMP and DCO solutions are based on Amazon AWS technology, providing complete, global scalability.
SBC: What separates ad:s from some of the other marketing solutions available to operators?
RG: There are a number of factors that make ad:s a unique marketing platform, primarily the fact it’s the only service built and designed for the betting industry.
At present, in both established and emerging markets, operators are finding increasing challenges to engage betting audiences and the successful bookmakers are those who are as efficient as possible when acquiring new customers.
As the world’s leading betting services provider we’ve built a major, global business founded on fast, reliable and insightful data, which has now enabled us to develop a range of betting specific data-driven marketing capabilities – ad:s is purpose built to meet the needs of bookmakers, reducing waste and increasing returns.
It starts with our unique understanding of betting consumers and large scale, sector-specific Data Management Platform and ties into our custom-built, proprietary marketing technology before dynamic and contextual conversion products plug into our wide-ranging network of digital media owners.
Add in compliance with regulations like GDPR and CCPA and it makes for significantly better marketing performance, partnerships and practice. We also support these benefits with flexible ways of working, from self-service to fully managed, complete cost transparency and full IAB ratification and compliance.