Gambling’s convergence with sports and media launched the Leaders Track at the SBC Summit Barcelona, in a keynote discussion led by DAZN Chief Executive Shay Segev – a leader at the coalface of the industry’s next evolution.
The former CEO of FTSE100 Entain Plc, Segev drew global headlines at the start of the year by joining DAZN, the OTT sports media group of Sir Leo Blavatnik that had been recapitalised for $4.3bn in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taking stage, Segev immediately declared that “DAZN is not a gambling company,” and that he had no intentions “to see it become another gambling operator”.
“I accepted this offer from SBC to speak on the convergence of gambling, that is happening,” Segev stated “If anybody doubts this, I’m living proof that it is happening right now.”
Segev reflected on his 20-year journey to DAZN, in which his distinguished career had been transformed by executing complex tech mergers to enlarge the businesses of Playtech and Entain.
His tenure as CTO of Playtech was marked as a “formative experience”, in which Segev was part of an executive team that transformed an Tel Aviv upstart into the powerhouse gambling technology supplier for Tier-1 gambling operators.
At the forefront of Playtech’s technology development, Segev witnessed the “first evolution of the online gambling sector, where we successfully transitioned Playtech from operating as a sole casino B2B provider, to become the market leading end-to-end turnkey platform provider and IMS for online gambling”.
Reflecting on Playtech’s transformative disruption of online gambling’s value-chain, DAZN’s CEO underscored that he had learnt the implicit importance of convergence.
He explained: “I have looked back at my career, and I believe that success has come from finding ways to improve customer experiences by removing friction.”
“DAZN is another example of a company trying to do this. We want to make sports experiences seamless for the consumer.
“A year and a half ago, I was approached by DAZN, a media company looking to disrupt sports. I was taken by the opportunity to bring a seamless and transformative experiences to a new generation of audiences.”
Segev underscored that DAZN’s OTT streaming platform had established a strong foundation for the company’s new mandate to become “the single destination point for sports fans”.
During 2021, DAZN’s OTT Platform showcased over 27,000 live sports events, becoming the leading sports broadcast for the markets of Italy, Spain, Germany and Japan.
Following its OTT expansion, DAZN is present in 250 countries, in which Segev will lead the next evolution of the business through its multi-convergence of products and services using gamification, sports data, and inbound web 3.0 innovations.
Segev concluded that sports betting formed just one component of DAZN’s ambitions to become sports’ most revolutionary platform.
“Dependent on regulations, we will use betting simply as an enabler of our portfolio. DAZN has been built to be a sports destination platform and we don’t see sports betting as a destination in itself; that will always be sports”.