Xtremepush: The challenge for 2021 is simplifying and streamlining the betting experience

As the industry begins to return to some degree of normality, focus should be shifting towards new cross-sell opportunities according to Tommy Kearns, CEO and co-founder of Xtremepush.

Speaking to us ahead of next week’s Betting on Sports America – Digital, Tommy Kearns discussed why we should be capitalising on the NFL postseason excitement in the US, and how micro-betting will take centre-stage over the next 12 months as both operators and customers grow in confidence.

What are you looking forward to at the Betting on Sports America – Digital?

I’m always excited to catch up with our clients in the industry. Looking specifically at the North American landscape, we’re fortunate to be working with some of the real early success stories in the US. So it’ll be great to take stock of the year so far, and talk casually about how we can make even more impact in 2021.

And of course it’s an opportunity to meet some new faces as well, albeit digitally this year. We have such a strong reputation now that operators tend to reach out to us early in the process of building or re-invigorating their tech stack, so there will be lots of conversations about how we can help them accelerate their growth.

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

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 all saw significant uplift in recent months. We’ve seen a lot of focus in the last few months on increasing wallet-share post-bet with personalised on-site and in-app messages promoting casino games, which have proven really successful.

In North America, the NFL is nearing the end of the regular season so operators should have a solid understanding of their customers. Now is the time to start thinking about audience segments and campaigns to really make the most of the postseason.

And of course, the postseason excitement also represents a phenomenal opportunity to attract new customers who may be curious about betting for the first time, or are thinking of switching from off-shore books. If they can get the messaging right on this, then it should more than make up for any Covid-related hit.

What are you promoting at Betting on Sports America – Digital?

Xtremepush is the sports betting & gaming industry’s leading customer engagement, personalisation and data platform. 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, including the likes of Penn National, Pollard Banknote, Oddschecker, 888 Holdings, Rush Street Interactive, Fortuna Entertainment Group, Funstage and SportPesa. We understand the unique challenges that regulation presents for US vendors, for example, 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, and are nominated again for two awards in 2020. We always enter in partnership with clients, as for us it comes back to delivering actual ROI.

What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2020?

I think, with respect to the US market, micro-betting will take centre-stage over the next 12 months as both operators and customers grow in confidence.

We all know that the stop-start nature of the major US sports lends itself to in-play betting, but it’s also the sheer number of events that occur over the course of a game that I think really excites bettors.

There are so many micro-contests; what will the final pitch count be, will Tom Brady throw a touchdown on the next drive and so on.

The challenge is simplifying and streamlining the betting experience, particularly on mobile, which is the key to all in-play betting. It is potentially overwhelming and confusing from a bettor’s point of view.

I think that the first operator who really manages to nail this kind of product offering from a UX perspective will reap massive rewards. I actually think it could be a significant differentiator.

Which operator has impressed you the most in 2020?

It wouldn’t be fair to choose, seeing as we work with the majority of them!

What I will say is that the industry as a whole has shown remarkable resilience this year. I think that the experience and expertise that operators have developed was really on show when you look at how quickly they pivoted towards some of the niche offerings like eSports and Virtual sports. Sure, there was a week or so of uncertainty, but when it became clear that sports were off the radar for the foreseeable future, they took decisive action and kept the train moving.I don’t think that any other industry, en masse, could have done that.

What partnership has stood out in the past 12 months?

You’ll have to excuse my bias here, but I can’t not mention our recent partnership with SG Digital, as part of their outstanding OpenMarket. The impact that this will have on our mutual clients is phenomenal, with a seamless integration in place that will allow operators to take full advantage of the benefits of both technologies with fluid, real-time transferring of data between the two systems.

And I have to mention our relationship with Optimove, which continues to grow and add value for operators. We’re two best-of-breed vendors, and together we are a formidable proposition for any brand looking to deliver better player experiences.

We talk a lot about the importance of a seamless ecosystem, and one of our USPs is how well our platform integrates with an operator’s existing software.

Which parts of the conference agenda have caught your eye?

Anything to do with player engagement always stands out, for obvious reasons. The topic of in-play comes up again and again, from various angles, and it’s always interesting to get different perspectives on it.

As a company in general, we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date on the latest developments and trends within the industry. So events like this are essential to really get an understanding of what it’s like “on the ground”, so to speak.

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