The convergence between social gaming and gambling is one of the hot topics in the industry right now. There is much speculation over when or even if Zynga will turn on the switch to offer real money gambling through their popular poker product. Until there is a hugely successful crossover we’re still looking for answers about how to convert players from social gaming to real money gambling. This week I had a chance to speak with a man who thinks he has a solution.
Long time industry veteran Rasmus Sojmark has been working on his social betting platform Oddslife.com for almost three years and in March of this year, he was able to unveil it to the public. Soejmark’s goal with Oddslife.com is to provide a free-to-play option to those who want to dip their toe into the sports gambling pond.
Soejmark’s software includes a white label solution for local partners, whom he says, will increase the liquidity of the network and provide competitions that are more exciting for users.
He told me the friendly competitions, credit scheme, informational articles at Oddlife will serve as a way to introduce the network users to the wonders of sports gambling, and the aim is to convert those users to real money players at partner betting sites.
After three years of sweat and maybe a few tears, we wanted to catch up with Rasmus Soejmark to find out a little bit more about his Oddslife.com product.
Becky Liggero: Thanks for joining us Rasmus and congratulations on the recent launch of Oddslife.com. Tell us how you came with the concept for this social gaming site?
Rasmus Soejmark: We wanted to create a unique user experience by combining features from traditional sports betting and fantasy sports with social gaming and networking mechanics. So we decided to create what we call a social betting and entertainment network that enables users to engage in play-for-fun sports betting competitions with their friends, in order to win incredible prizes.
BL: OK, so how is this “social betting and entertainment network” different than other social betting platforms that are currently on the market?
RS: We have endeavoured to create a social environment that is as engaging as it is rewarding. Through our Main Competition you will be able to bet against the house in traditional sports betting style across almost all European Leagues imaginable. However, you can also create your very own challenge, choose a virtual credit buy-in, and customise everything about it to feed your individual desires, and of course invite your friends to join. We have also underlined our commitment to delivering fresh and exciting sports content by working with a team of young journalists.
We are equally excited about our white label functionality of the oddslife software. April 2012 will see the launch of our first two local partner platforms in Denmark (oddslife.dk) and Germany (mybet.net). We will provide them with a branded and managed solution, and they market the platform and encourage activity. We will be looking to further establish our presence in Europe before EURO 2012 and in the US by working with local partners interested in promoting our social betting software.
BL: Tell me about the white label functionality of the oddslife software and what geographical regions you have your eyes on.
RS: April 2012 will see the launch of our first two local partner platforms in Denmark (oddslife.dk) and Germany (mybet.net). We will provide them with a branded and managed solution, and they market the platform and encourage activity. We will be looking to further establish our presence in Europe before EURO 2012 and in the US by working with local partners interested in promoting our social betting software.
BL: So now that we understand the platform, can you explain how punters can earn credits at Oddslife and what can they use them for?
RS: Punters buy the prizes yourselves in our shop with Virtual Credits. For this reason, the introduction of Virtual Credits is the key development in our Oddslife Network. Punters need these credits to:
– Buy in to User Challenges
– Purchase prizes from our Shop
– Exchange for Free Money Accounts with Bookmakers
– Get a Main Competition Points boost
Each new user will be given 10 Virtual Credits simply for signing up! To mention a few additional ways punters can earn credits, they can exchange points from the Main Competition to credits, get one of the special offers from our sponsors, invite friends to join, engage with our content, create content etc.
Build these Credits carefully and you will be amazed at what our Shop has to offer!
BL: Why would punters choose to spend credits at Oddslife rather than bet with an actual sportsbook?
RS: Well we are not looking to compete with sportsbooks, rather they will be leading sponsors on our platform. We aim to educate and excite users, be it non-gamblers or those who want to start out playing casually in a safe, social environment. When they feel comfortable they have the option of trying out sports betting with real cash.
With a mix of traditional sports betting, user created challenges, overall leaderboards, betting school education, special offers from our sponsors, shop rewards and virtual credits, we are also exploring options of retention and re-activation campaigns with selected sportsbooks and media sites.
BL: This all sounds great so far, what are your biggest goals for Oddslife in 2012?
RS: We hope to partner with some of the large media companies in the UK for special EURO 2012 competitions and community building. It’s worth mentioning that before and during World Cup 2010 Budweiser was promoting their new sports betting gameplay microsite on billboards around the UK and you could win £100,000. We can create similar, but much better designed microsites for any company for EURO 2012. They can launch the EURO 2012 microsite and then keep it running after the event or simply shut it down and reactivate it around another big future event.
Of course traffic is essential for success. We’ve just started some marketing campaigns on various channels and will be testing the traffic and hope for good results.
Sports Betting Community is organising an event 3rd of May that we will be sponsoring along other key sponsors like Betting Promotion.
BL: Great, thank you so much Rasmus, congratulations again on your new venture and we’re looking forward to that SBC event on May 3rd!