What should operators be aware of – and avoid – when looking to bring a supplier on board?
In most cases, operators partner up with a supplier in order to create, and benefit from, synergies. Collaborations can be very fruitful, but at the same time they need to meet certain parameters. One of the most important parameters is undoubtedly
quality, which ultimately decides the additional value both you and your partner will drive from this relationship. Of course, at first glance, higher quality might come at a greater cost than other options in the market, but accepting less quality by opting for a cheaper supplier isn’t the answer, and carries risks.
The ability to listen to peers in the market is extremely important in detecting certain trends and market movements, helping you make better decisions and take the correct actions. Thorough research of available options and the market itself will also help you to draw the right conclusions. Of course, the decisions and actions taken will depend on the type and the size of your business.
If the total number of sports, matches and leagues covered is rather low, your demands will be different than for a larger operator. Sportradar offers 24/7 coverage for more than 230,000 live events across more than 20 different sports per year, and is 100% quality and security-driven, deploying different scouting technologies and providing redundant data coverage where possible.
Finally, operators should be conscious of suppliers trying to push specific products and services on them without recognizing, appreciating or factoring in their unique nature. Our range of products and services, such as our Managed Trading Services, are presented as a fully tailorable menu, ready to be adapted and developed in line with the needs and circumstances of each operator. It is easy for a supplier to state that their service is fit for purpose, but we urge operators to ask them: “Whose purpose?”.
How can operators protect themselves from the risks of relying on third-party streams, such as “ghost games”?
Ghost matches are a pretty rare phenomenon, but in the past few years, there have been more and more newspaper reports on these incidents. Setting up a ghost match requires a lot of resources and organisation from criminal individuals of
groups, as well as the ‘service’ of a scout with ulterior motives covering a match. So the most important thing for an operator when it comes to protection is to fully trust the data with which they are being supplied, which depends to a large extent on how much you trust your data partner.
We internally double and triple check the accuracy of the data for the actual fixture, from kick-off time to in-play data, via dedicated monitoring and quality assurance teams as well as trading supervisors.
In addition to our extensive oversight of scouting operations, our unique Security Services work closely with state authorities, supporting them in the fight against fraudulent actions. The Security Services team, in very close dialogue with our partners, regularly attends workshops alongside the fraud detection departments of national and international law enforcement units. Our team, for example, is being taught how to identify fake IDs, and from 40,000 applications per year for scouting positions, we accept less than 1%. We appreciate that our credibility is pivotal to the industry and the operators who rely on our data. That is why the selection process for scouts is rigorous, and why the oversight and monitoring of existing scouts is detailed and ongoing.
What innovations, developments or improvements of these products can we expect to see over the next 12 months?
Generally speaking, we expect a wider acceptance for in-play betting products and services. This could open up the door to greater access to official data, which will again reduce latency in the delivery of that data. Other than that, the immersive
gamification of in-play products will continue to evolve, and a natural reverse cross-sell to other gaming products should follow.
On the product level, the fast-paced betting markets will continue to grow. These markets provide punters with a limited time window to predict what is going to happen next in a game e.g. “What will happen in the next five minutes?” or “Will team A score within the next five minutes?”. By offering the opportunity to bet on outcomes within such short intervals, the punters engage deeper with the action and the process of placing the bets becomes even more engaging. It is very likely that these betting markets will be followed on a second screen (e.g. mobile phone) while watching the game. The second screen experience, mobile betting in particular, will be something to keep an eye on, especially during the Euro 2016 football tournament in France.