In late July, Betting Hero -FansUnite’s live activation and customer experience company for the sports betting industry- announced an ambitious partnership with Bankroll, a new luxury sports bar landing in Philadelphia this fall. Described as a “first-of-its-kind” sports betting concierge program for Bankroll’s gueststhe deal will see Betting Hero developing and building sports gaming education for the bar, with in-house experts who will guide guests through the wagering experience.
“Customers struggle to interact effectively and efficiently with their sportsbook app of choice. As such, Betting Hero will tailor its education to support individual consumers,” Betting Hero’s President Jai Maw tells Yogonet in an exclusive interview. Maw notes that according to Betting Hero research, about 50% of online sports betting experience an issue that prevents them from placing a successful bet with at least one sports betting app/account.
In conversation with YogonetMaw also tackles the main hurdles customers find with their apps of choice, future prospects of this unique concierge program, and the importance of sports betting to the fan experience, among other pressing topics.
Betting Hero is launching a “first-of-its-kind” sports betting concierge program to help guests of Philadelphia-based sports bar Bankroll place sports bets. How was this partnership reached, and what motivated it? What are the program’s main features?
The concierge program that we’re helping bring to life will be owned and operated by Bankroll. We have known the leadership team at Bankroll for some time and have always been big believers in this concept.
A couple of years ago, we explored building a Betting Hero sports betting-themed bar. Our vision was not as grand as what Bankroll is building, but we have always believed in the idea. What we love most about Bankroll is their commitment to providing the modern, invested sports fan with customized content, coaching, and community like no other venue.
April's groundbreaking ceremony for Bankroll
A recent Betting Hero survey found that 47% of all sports bettors want to wager more but struggle to find the bets they want. Why does this happen, and what are the major troubles they encounter when seeking to bet?
Several reasons prevent motivated sports bettors from placing the bets they want. There are surprisingly low conversion rates from interested customers that download an app to the customers that are able to register, fund, and then bet. When unassisted by a Betting Hero at one of our thousands of annual nationwide events, approximately 50% of online sports bettors experience an issue that prevents them from placing a successful bet with at least one sports betting app/account.
These common hurdles are found at the registration (KYC), funding, and usability (finding/placing a bet) stages. For the other half of customers that do not experience any of these issues or for those that successfully navigate them, longer-lasting hurdles exist that prevent many from truly enjoying their experience betting on mobile. These issues are primarily: (1) navigating unfamiliar apps that are not always intuitive and (2) being able to easily locate specific bets/markets of interest. Specifically, consumers naturally expect their preferred sportsbook app’s user interface to mimic the other apps frequently used: think Uber, Lyft, Amazon, etc.
Online sportsbook operators are racing to innovate their products and, in many cases, catch up with high-tech industries that have changed how consumers think about mobile app functionality. Beyond UI/UX, sports betting customers are overwhelmed by the sheer number of markets offered within a given sportsbook. Quantity and variety of markets are, of course, important, but relevancy can be paramount. For example, is there a sportsbook operator that has embraced personalized delivery of relevant markets, allowed for customization of a home page, or perfected ‘search bar’ functionality? We still have a long way to go as an industry.
The company is set to train Bankroll’s on-site sports betting concierge team to provide hands-on sports betting education. What aspects of sports gaming does this program include? Does Betting Hero have plans to further replicate it in other restaurants and bars going forward?
Partly because of user error, partly because of UX/UI design, but mostly because of an absence of customer education, customers struggle to interact effectively and efficiently with their sportsbook app of choice. As such, Betting Hero will tailor its education to support individual consumers. But Betting Hero will not provide sports betting advice in any shape or form.
Regarding Betting Hero’s plans to expand this consultative portion of our business—we are open to it, but are extremely selective about who we work with and who we are willing to share our four years and millions of customer interactions’ worth of experience with.
We’re thrilled to share that @mybettinghero has reached an agreement with Bankroll Philadelphia on a strategic partnership that will create a valuable sports betting concierge program for Bankroll’s guests.https://t.co/JxRByEDAhn
— FansUnite (@fansunite) July 28, 2022
The program is set to increase sports betting convergence with the bars/restaurant segment. What role do you see gaming playing within these establishments, and for the fan experience? How will the program impact areas such as guest engagement and customer acquisition?
I believe passionately that sports betting will be an integral part of the casual and avid fan experience for the foreseeable future. Fans congregate at their local sports bar on game day (which happens to be almost every day of the week, most of the year). Not only does sports betting represent a significant revenue opportunity for bars across the country, but it also provides an opportunity for businesses to remain competitive and retain their customers.
For sportsbook operators, these establishments will also present a unique opportunity to entertain and engage with their consumers at a localized level. Take Bankroll, for example: where else can an operator without a retail location in Philadelphia entertain its passionate Eagles or 76ers’ fans pre- and post-game?
What potential synergies could we see between Betting Hero’s new program and FansUnite’s other endeavors in the iGaming and sports betting markets?
This business vertical is highly informative as we continue to better understand the needs and wants of sports bettors and the integrated fan experience. Sportsbook operators are rightly focused on the omnichannel experiences they can offer their customers, and we want to remain at the forefront of the innovations in that space.
By to form great partnerships like this one, we can help inform continuing FansUnite’s overall strategy and help our sportsbook operators reach their customers in new and unique ways.
We are also seeing the business model of restaurants and bars’ sportsbooks expand in the US, with venues in DC adopting this strategy, and the upcoming Ohio market set to allow for such sports betting licenses. Could we see Betting Hero’s programs and plans potentially expanding into this direction?
We have already been in discussions with several establishments that wish to offer sports betting to their customers in one way or another. I anticipate more states encouraging similar models, as this is clearly what consumers want.