Promoted feature: Keeping the momentum after the Euros

Andrew Foster, Enteractive’s chief business officer, discusses turning the tables on churn

Whether it’s the Euros, the World Cup, the Super Bowl, or countless other big tournaments around the world, major sporting events always draw new customers to sportsbook operators. The question is how to keep them interested and entertained, even after the fans leave the stadiums.

Big tournaments = big opportunities

There’s a cycle that happens in sportsbooks every year, with big ticket sporting events attracting a transient audience of new customers, eager to have a punt on their favourite team, horse, tennis player (and so on). From the Grand National to Wimbledon, from the Super Bowl to March Madness, operators have numerous opportunities with untold sporting fixtures around the world, all of which are a major pull for occasional bettors to have a flutter.

Every other year, there are even larger competitions which bring together entire continents, and once every four years, the whole world. The World Cup, the Copa America, the Africa Cup of Nations, and of course, the Euros.

Clearly, the cycle has been interrupted by the pandemic, but with sporting bodies finding ways to bring events back to life, the wheel starts turning again, and there’s one safe bet across every tourney, championship, race, or bout – a large percentage of new players will churn as soon as it’s over.

The opportunity

According to a June 2021 report by Technavio, the sports betting market has the potential to grow by $106.25bn during 2021-2025, and even though the pandemic is still a big factor for sports this year, the report estimates a YoY growth rate of 21.4% for 2021. In addition, recent years have seen the global sportsbook opportunity accelerated by the growing use of technology, as the digital revolution turns the customer focus from the offline retail sector to online sports betting offerings.

As the US throws open its doors for sports betting in increasing numbers of states, North America remains the largest region in the global sports market, accounting for 35% of the market in 2020. The American Gaming Association estimates that before 2018, gamblers annually bet $150bn on the black market in the US, indicating the size of the opportunity if licensed operators can convert those customers into regulated revenues.

Asia Pacific was the second largest region, accounting for 30% of the global sports market. Africa was the smallest region in the global sports market. In terms of individual countries, the key markets for sports betting are currently the US, UK, China, Singapore, Australia and France.

So, despite the black swan event that Covid-19 has brought us in 2020-2021, the sports betting market is on the edge of a new era, as opportunities in global markets abound. But as with any growing market, those that succeed are the ones who leave no stone unturned in the revenue stakes. Those that grab market share and ensure high retention rates will likely be the big winners over the next decade.

Preventing churn

While acquisition for sportsbooks might look easy, considering the starved appetite for betting on big sporting events among the wider global audience, the biggest challenge for operators nowadays is to stand out from the crowd and attract new players. There’s plenty of competition out there to get sign-ups and pushing the envelope for major sports tournaments like Euro 2020 will deliver a big uptick in new player registrations.

However, the success of new acquisitions is also short lived as these events come to an end. The 2018 World Cup saw the number of new sportsbook customers increase more than 200% but also saw churn rates increase from 60% to 75% after the tournament.

Now, operators must add focus to these often-neglected segments in order to retain those hard-earned new customers. Sure, digital CRM strategies can win back a small percentage of churned sports bettors, but with the transient audience that turns up just for one big tournament every now and then, the most effective way to keep those players in the game is through true one-to-one personalised conversations.


We’re talking about real conversations, between real people, not a digital approximation of personalisation based on data-mined information that’s developed at significant cost – a 2019 report by Gartner also showed that consumers’ trust levels around brands’ digital personalisation efforts were set to reach all-time lows by 2025 and 80% of marketers who had “invested in digital personalisation will abandon their efforts due to lack of ROI”.

Yes, it’s proven to be more effective to win back lapsed customers following big sporting events by getting in touch with them directly – phone calls and live chat have been shown to develop more appreciation for brands from players, with a study by The American Society of Quality Control stating “68% of customers leave feeling under-appreciated”.

The sector is moving into a whole new age of giving people the ability to choose when they do things and how they do things and have this personalised offer. At Enteractive, we’re constantly innovating and developing new technology to help with our personalised approach. We recently launched the Engager tool, which is a mobile-first player-facing app which allows customers to choose when and how we communicate with them.

In short, those operators who successfully reduce attrition and see more long-lasting relationships will be those that take the time to really connect with their customers, and give them something more than just bonuses or one-time offers – a real personalised approach. And that’s how Enteractive is helping to reduce churn for our operator partners after the Euros. How will you be doing it?

Andrew Foster is chief business officer at Enteractive, the leading partner for igaming operators to engage with players and reactivate inactive accounts. He is focused on both casino and sportsbook clients in Europe, the US, Latam and emerging markets. Foster has worked in the industry for over 10 years and joined Enteractive in 2016.

CRM | Enteractive | Marketing | Retention | Sports betting | Sportsbooks