Partnerships between gambling operators and media platforms continue to be one of the big ways the American gambling industry is exploding in growth. In the opening panel of the World Gaming Executive Summit (WGUES), Kelly Stewart of the Bleacher Report Betting Vertical hosted a Fireside Chat on “The future of sports betting partnerships in the US.”
As we’ve seen from other partnerships of the like, a sportsbook partnering with a big media partner brings benefits to both parties. Turner Sports has seen increased viewership as their customers now have added incentive to watch more sports, watching their bets play out and seeing new odds that become available. “Sports betting for us is probably the biggest opportunity that we have, going forward,” said Will Funk, EVP of Sports Partnerships & Branded Content, Turner Sports
Similarly, DraftKings, who partnered with Turner officially in October, are seeing more customers driven to their app. Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer of DraftKings noted that they can measure down to the second how fast someone jumps into their app after seeing something on Turner Sports, and those numbers are improving. That’s great for the book, but the benefits are also there for the broadcaster. “What’s great, if you’re a broadcaster, if you have a tool like this, you can keep people engaged in your broadcast and keep them there watching a game, match, competition.”
Stewart asked what the panelists expect to see as the partnership continues to grow. Funk said the younger audience are taking advantage of increased access. “If you look at this generation of younger viewers, Millennials in particular, if you look at a company like Robinhood, the stock market wasn’t something you could participate in,” Funk said. “And now it’s accessible to everybody.” “We have availability now in many states for sports betting,” he added, and he expects users will take advantage of the opportunity Turner and DraftKings has created.
And that’s not isolated to live events. Turner is seeing huge benefits thanks to the continuing spread of sports betting. “There’s an insatiable appetite now for a deeper level of understanding and reporting on what’s going on with players, what’s going on with injuries,” Funk said. “It goes beyond that too. Was a team out the night before, did their plane get in late, what’s the weather report in that city? All these things now have value to fans.”
Kucharz noted that the services a sports book can provide help enrich the experience much more as well, and they’re happy to play that role. “If you have a play-by-play person or a color person using the odds to help tell a story of what’s going on in the field of play, it’s an unbelievably great experience for everybody,” he said. “We’re giving them odds feeds and different things that are going on, and the guys in the truck are making the decision on what to go to air with. It’s unbelievably powerful and really, we look to do more and more of that.”
CalvinAyre is providing continuing coverage of WGES, and you can follow our social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with all of it. Our lead reporter, Becky Liggero Fontana, will also be hosting 3 panels, and you can check out the details on those here.