Xtremepush: In the short-term, the industry should focus on player reactivation

The countdown is on for SBC Digital Summit North America, and with a week to go until the event, we’ve been sitting down with our sponsors to find out what they’re most excited about.

Victor Sevciuc, Head of Sales for Sports Betting & Gaming at Xtremepush, told SBC that the event offers a new opportunity to learn about how other companies have adapted to working during the pandemic. He also highlighted that the Canadian market has masses of potential, but can sometimes be ‘overlooked’. 

What are you looking forward to at the SBC Digital Summit North America?

For me, it’s all about the networking and business opportunities that an event like this provides. We have a fantastic solution that vendors want and need, so much of my week will be sitting down with delegates in the virtual meeting rooms and showing them where we can add value to their business.

I have earmarked plenty of talks on the agenda too, of course. As we know, it’s a complicated industry that moves very quickly. One of the things we’re obsessed with at Xtremepush is maintaining a level of expertise within each of the verticals we operate in. We pride ourselves on genuinely understanding the challenges that vendors are looking to overcome. 

I’m in constant contact with our own clients, but I also want to hear how non-clients have been doing for the last few months; what tactics did they try, what worked well and what didn’t? There’s always more to learn!

What would be your biggest bit of advice for betting and gaming businesses trying to mitigate the impact of COVID-19?

In the short-term, it’s all about player reactivation. So the immediate priority is to segment your player base, focusing on the high-value bettors who have disappeared completely, and nudge them back on-site and in-app with personalised, relevant offers. We’re working with our own clients right now to help them identify and connect with these players so that they get maximum return from what’s left of the European soccer season, for example.

Side by side with this, I’d say that a bigger push than ever needs to be made on cross-sell opportunities, whether that’s casino games or virtual sports, which have seen a significant uplift in recent months. 

In North America, where there’s still the upcoming NFL season to look forward to, the priority should be gathering player data regarding favourite teams and bet types, so that vendors can really hit the ground running with personalised campaigns from week one.

What are you promoting at SBC Digital Summit North America?

Xtremepush is the sports betting & gaming industry’s leading customer engagement, personalisation and data platform. It’s a comprehensive solution for understanding, engagement and decisioning. I’ll be meeting with brands to discuss how we can help them to drive additional revenue and increase player retention through personalised, automated, multichannel experiences.

We work with most of the top brands in the sector globally, including the likes of Paddy Power Betfair, Rush Street Interactive and Pollard Banknote who will be well-known to delegates in North America. We understand the unique challenges that regulation presents for vendors, especially in the U.S., and we are increasingly seen as the go-to provider in the industry. 

We also took home the 2019 SBC Award for Best Marketing & Services Provider, so we are certainly well-established.

What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2020?

For me, the most impactful innovation that the industry will see in the second half of 2020 is the move towards a neater, consolidated engagement technology stack. To be honest, things were already moving in that direction in 2019 and in the early months of this year. 

The fact is that right now, the average sports betting brand probably has 10 or more different tech partners, between CRM systems, email and other channel suppliers, analytics platforms, personalisation engines and so on. Throughout the lockdown, we saw vendors around the world take a long, hard look at the number of technology suppliers there were working with and asking where they could make cost-savings. 

But at the same time, the actual capabilities themselves are all essential. So the big focus from here on will be around reducing the number of suppliers to just one or two who can offer integrated solutions that provide all of these capabilities in a single, seamless product. That will allow vendors to keep their overheads down as well improving general efficiency when it comes to engaging with their players.

Which operator has impressed you the most in 2020?

It’s tough to choose a single operator because we work with so many of them! And I know very well how each of them has navigated 2020. I’m impressed with the industry in general because it has managed to ride out the turbulence with such extraordinary skill. 

I think we all know just how resourceful and innovative sports betting and gaming brands are generally, but 2020 has been something else entirely. We’ve seen operators pivot to niche markets like eSports and Virtual Sports with incredible speed, keeping fans entertained and engaged and making sure that there’s revenue coming in. That in itself is an outstanding achievement.

What partnership has stood out in the past 12 months?

In a North American context, I think Penn Interactive’s acquisition of Barstool Sports is a game-changer. Two phenomenal brands coming together to do something very special. For Penn Interactive, they are buying a ready-made audience of devoted sports fans and potential bettors.

They are rolling out a mobile-only betting app that is going to be absolutely first-rate. And they are going to do things right, because that’s just the way they operate. They have some really exciting player engagement plans in the works as well and I think overall it’s going to set a very high standard for North American betting.

Which parts of the conference agenda have caught your eye?

There are so many to choose from, but in particular I’m looking forward to the session on the future of the Canadian market. The potential there is enormous and there are some fantastic speakers lined up for it. I think the U.S. market gets so much of the industry’s attention, for obvious reasons, that Canada is somewhat overlooked. We have a really strong presence in Canada, so we know just how big the opportunity there is for vendors. 

And from a personal perspective, as an avid sports fan, I’m looking forward to the session on match-fixing and what’s being done to combat it. The integrity of our sports is paramount, especially in the growing markets of North America, where new bettors must feel confident that they are getting an even shake when placing a wager. 

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