Genius Sports expects US bettor behaviour to develop broadly in line with that of Europe, and is positioning itself as a data leader in the sector through high-profile partnerships and product innovation.
That was the message CEO Mark Locke related to investors following Genius’ latest quarterly earnings update, shortly before the firm announced a new stateside partnership with FanDuel, the US market leader and Flutter Entertainment brand.
FanDuel will make use of the firm’s BetVision product, integrating the streaming platform – which allow users to watch select NFL games featuring live stats – as well as the supplier’s ‘next gen stats’.
“As an Official Sports Betting Partner of the NFL, we’re continuing to look for ways to elevate the betting experience on our platform for fans during every game,” said Mike Raffensperger, Chief Commercial Officer at FanDuel.
“Partnering with Genius will allow us to pair our industry-leading product with access to BetVision to build a seamless live betting experience for fans.”
Speaking to investors and analysts this week, Locke emphasised that BetVision forms a key part, but the only element, of Genius’ approach to the US where it has secured an extension to continue providing NFL next gen stats until the 2027/28 season.
In response to one analyst’s question regarding how Genius will encourage more sportsbooks to use BetVision, Locke emphasised that the London-based firm’s US strategy is not just about this one streaming platform but ‘our wider augmentation products’.
He explained: “It’s about ubiquity and it’s changing user behaviour. I think this is a really positive start and we’ve got close relationships with those sportsbooks.
“I’ve said a number of times that we’re going through a process at the moment of contract renewals that will be coming up over the next period. And obviously, any negotiations that we have are going to be part of those wider renewals.”
BetVision provides a ‘second screen’ for US bettors, the CEO continued, something which Genius believes will pose great value going forward. This is where the inevitable comparisons with Europe come into play.
In Locke’s view, there is an ongoing shift towards in-play betting in the US which has been occurring as the market developed in recent years – he shared the firm’s expectation for ‘the US market to be a large in-play market in the same way that the European market is’.
Moving forward, Genius aims to scale up BetVision’s presence in the US via onboarding with more operators and making sure it is distributed ‘in the same way that we’re trying to do with the augmentation products’.
BetVision is not the only tool in the firm’s kit, however, and neither is the NFL, as Locke also emphasised the broadcasting capabilities of Genius’ Second Spectrum subsidiary and its distribution of Premier League data.
“In terms of the sports, clearly, our technology is not only focused on the NFL,” he continued. “Obviously, the NFL is a huge part of our partnership base. But also the work that we’ve done with Premier League Productions recently is worth highlighting, because it’s maybe not always obvious to people.”
The deal with FanDuel marks a significant expansion of NYSE-listed Genius’ standing in the US, and that of its BetVision product, following deals with Caesars and Fanatics.
Prior to the announcement, some analysts on the webcast quizzed Locke on how Genius aimed to expand beyond the boundaries of the initial two sportsbooks. ith FanDuel now confirmed as a partner, these questions have likely been soundly answered.
In Genius’ statement on the deal, Locke remarked: “In partnership with FanDuel, we are proud to lead a new era of sports betting experiences across North America.
“With heightened demand for greater personalisation and interactivity, BetVision revolutionises the live betting experience for FanDuel’s customers by helping to drive fan engagement and accelerate the growth of in-game betting.”