Having good data is great, but according to LSports CEO Dotan Lazar, this is no longer enough if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd. Instead, he believes that innovation in player retention-focused products is the way forward.
In a chat with SBC News, Lazar began by reflecting on the biggest milestones from 2023, including the development of new AI-driven products that he is confident will disrupt the industry.
He said: “LSports is one of the leading sports data providers. In the past year, we have carried out a rebrand, we have announced an acquisition and we have developed a whole host of new products. We have been maintaining the momentum of our best-performing products, including SEC, our Sports Experts Chat.
“We are now finalising this product with our design partners – essentially, we have developed our own SportsGPT where you can ask any question and the system will generate an answer based on statistics and probabilities. We believe that this will be extremely unique and will create an interesting proposition for the industry.”
By using AI and machine learning, Lazar proposed the idea that this may enable LSports’ partners to address the challenge of player retention by creating a more personalised offering for the end player.
One such example of how the sports data provider is achieving this is through its BetBooster product, an automated sports insights feed that has been designed “for higher customer engagement and satisfaction”.
The product draws upon both historical data and AI analysis to create betting tips across a range of markets, including player props for both pre-match and in-play.
Lazar continued: “The other product that has been big for us this year is our BetBooster, which is our fan engagement tool. We’re implementing this across our software products and it will be available with visualisations too. Players will be able to get tips and bet slips by using the product.
“The third thing is PIP, or Points in Play, which is an interactive social betting tool designed to boost sportsbooks’ user engagement and retention. It will allow players to gamble using virtual coins inside a visualisation, which, we believe, will help our partners drive retention.
“Points in Play offers bettors dynamic contests and activations during live sporting events and lets them convert virtual prizes into real prizes. The experience they get is exciting and unique.”
BetBooster, PIP and Sports Expert Chat aren’t the only products in LSports’ portfolio that tap into the world of AI.
Earlier this year, the sports data provider debuted Trade360, its sports trading platform which aims to streamline an operator’s trading and risk management processes and enable partners to “create and generate unique and accurate fair value odds based on live data”. Lazar noted that the launch of Trade360 is just the tip of the iceberg for LSports.
“We want to give our partners the ability to trade hands-free, with our systems pinpointing discrepancies in odds between them and their competitors. Trade360 is the first building block of this vision that we’re hoping to achieve, and alongside it, we’ll have BPS (Bookie Performance System), which will monitor the market and offer operators real-time recommendations to adjust their offering.
“Sportsbooks will be able to identify where they need to take action – improving margins, increasing coverage, and fixing settlements. It’s all about being transparent when you’re dealing with data – that is our biggest goal.”
“As you can imagine, this is a very sophisticated tool that is recommending what odds need to be changed, or what trading decisions need to be altered. Basically, these tools are going to automate the trading process. There will be no manpower involved in any way – theoretically speaking, you can just sit back, relax and let the system flush out the things that need attention.
“These two products will be the main focus for us this year and going into next, alongside the huge reconfiguration that we’re carrying out across our systems, to ensure that we can operate at scale, that we reach 100% uptime and that our partners get the best possible experience from working with us.”
A common goal
The thought process behind launching a range of new products wasn’t just to showcase the innovative technologies being developed by the LSports team. Although, this is an influencing factor.
Instead, Lazar shared that LSports has developed these new products as a means of alleviating the pain points that its partners feel on a daily basis – the biggest of which has been retention.
He said: “When we speak about developing new products, I like to feel the pain. You’re probably thinking ‘what on earth is he talking about?’. But what I mean is, I want to fully understand the challenges that our partner is facing so that we can come up with the best possible solution.
“At the moment, the biggest pain point for many operators is customer acquisition. We’re seeing exponentially high customer acquisition costs in markets such as the US now, and crazy levels of competition in European markets.
“Betting operators need to be able to optimise their customers and find the best possible ways to earn more from their existing line business to try to offset some of these acquisition costs. You earn much more from existing customers rather than trying to acquire new players.”
Reports have suggested that player acquisition costs are reaching record numbers, particularly in newly regulated markets such as the US where there is intense competition among sportsbooks to attract new players.
If you can develop products that encourage existing players to return to your site, however, this should theoretically lessen the financial burden of acquisition. As a result, operators can then increase bottom line figures.
Lazar added: “It’s all about keeping your players engaged with your offering and making sure they come back to your site. Bettors can learn a lot from the insights provided by our tools, and our operator partners can drive bottom line results.
“We’re not trying to keep anything a secret here. We have an incredibly strong marketing team who help identify the problems our partners are facing. LSports then comes up with the best possible solutions to the problem.
“We’re looking to achieve more efficiency from our full product suite by improving our Trade360 capabilities and front-end user engagement tools. This is why I’m in the line of business that I am, because I want to be able to get up in the morning and help companies overcome their problems.”
The full capabilities of LSports’ product suite will be showcased throughout the European football season, Lazar commented. He believes that with the English Premier League underway, LSports can continue to finetune its offering.
“Our plans for the start of the European football season is to continue improving our product. That’s the expectation that I have for my team and the expectation that our partners have of us. We want to be the best we possibly can be. Good is no longer enough, we want to be the best,” Lazar said.
“That is our mission for now. We’re constantly improving. Starting from next year, we will have our own odds models. We have our own scouting teams that are reporting from different venues, and on top of that, we have our streaming service.
“The bottom line is that I think we’re doing everything in our power to be the best data provider in the world – I believe we will have achieved that one year from now.”
And for those attending this month’s SBC Summit Barcelona, which takes place from 19-22 September, delegates will be able to hear more from Lazar and his team about the importance of innovation and finding a competitive edge in the sports data space.
LSports will be exhibiting at stand SB810 where their flagship products will take centre stage.
Lazar concluded: “We will be showcasing our portfolio of stand-out products, including our SEC and PIP products. This, I believe, will be a testament to all the ways that LSports is innovating, which is a lot by the way.
“Our competitors may be bigger than us in terms of human resources and finances. But at LSports, we’re doing considerably more when it comes to innovating and developing new technology. Innovation really is the key here.
“We will continue to show ourselves off and show what we’re capable of. We’ll be the peacocks of the exhibition floor.
“The rebranding that we carried out at the beginning of the year was a great move for us as it better reflects who we are as a company. People recognise us, they have a better idea of what we stand for. LSports is in a great position, and we look to improve that even further!”