11 Jan Oulala Games – Developing more interactive play during live events
Oulala Games is sponsoring Betting on Football 2018, the fifth edition of the largest international football and betting trade conference at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea FC.
Ahead of the 20-23 March event, we spoke to the company’s CEO Valery Bollier about what he is looking forward to at #bofcon2018, which industry innovation he expects to capture the most attention in 2018, and who he is backing to lift the World Cup trophy in Russia.
SBC: What are you looking forward to at Betting on Football?
VB: Oulala and Betting on Football have something important in common. While BOF is the only industry event to be specialised in football, we are the only Daily Fantasy Sports provider that is fully dedicated to football.
I am eager to hear what the major stakeholders, who play an active role in the sports betting industry, have to say about the innovations and products that will shape the future. I am, of course, looking forward to discussing what Oulala can bring to the table.
The next edition of BOF will also be an opportunity for us to meet a number of future partners, as we will be opening our next round of funding in the first quarter of 2018.
SBC: What are you promoting at Betting on Football?
VB: iGaming operators are beginning to see the limits of their current positioning. Optimizing their offers for customers within the 40+ age range dangerously narrows their market and the problem only continues to grow. At Oulala, we believe that adopting DFS is not the only move required since reshaping one’s entire offer is also necessary.
However, it is a highly significant step in the process. Oulala would thus be the perfect partner. We understand the challenges operators face and we have customizable solutions that were built specifically for the industry. Oulala is creating a solid long-term bridge between the younger generations and iGaming operators.
SBC: What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2018?
VB: To begin with, I maintain that the sports betting industry in general is missing out on numerous innovations because it does not heed its own customers. By the year 2020, millennials, also known as the Y generation, will represent 50% of the work force, that is, more or less 50% of our market. Therefore, it is crucial to start listening to them and acknowledging what they have to say. One thing is for sure: they are not looking to play luck games against the house.
Fortunately, many young B2B companies have already begun to offer social, skill-based products that are customized for them. Daily Fantasy Sport is, of course, one of these companies, and this is the reason why we launched Oulala.com four years ago. Other options include eSports, Virtual Reality and monetized video games, the latter being something I believe will mark the year 2018.
We have already seen the decisive first step of the video gaming sector in our direction with the launch of a loot box system. Moreover, Rockstar also announced that GTA VI will offer an online real money poker and casino game. With GTA V being the fastest selling entertainment product in human history, this should be seen as a critical warning for the future of our industry.
Since our sector failed to respond to the needs of the new generations, the video gaming industry has now taken up the position that should have been ours, and if we do not react tenaciously, then our sector will soon be in colossal disarray.
SBC: How can your company help to improve the customer experience ahead of the World Cup?
VB: One of the main issues throughout the history of sports betting has been that customers remain passive during live matches. Live betting was an interesting first step, to offer customers the ability to be active during a match, however younger generation are expecting a much more thorough experience, and this is why Oulala has developed a more intense way of playing during live events: live substitution.
During the team building step on Oulala, one also has the option to select six players that will remain on the bench. Thus, for instance, if Ronaldo is currently in play yet his performance after 16 minutes leaves much to be desired, then a quick glance at the bench allows the customer to sub someone else in, such as Arsenal’s Giroud, whose game will commence in 2 hours from then.
Therefore, in 2 hours’ time, the system will begin to take Giroud’s stats and points into account from the 17th minute of his match. This is the main reason why Oulala’s customers are quite active throughout the duration of the matches, as they are regularly accessing their team on our site to keep up with their players’ results and make substitutions should the situation call for it.
By offering a live substitution option, Oulala is the first Daily Fantasy Football game to be a real second screen game. Operators that will form part of our network will therefore be able to see their DFS customers constantly logged on their site during the world cup matches. As one can imagine, this will enable many cross-selling opportunities.
SBC: Who are you backing to win the tournament, and why?
VB: Despite my high hopes, Malta’s national team did not qualify for the tournament, therefore, as a Frenchman, I will cheer for France. My hope is that we will face Germany at some point during the knock-out stages and exact our revenge after they defeated us in the quarter-final four years ago.