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DFS – Crossing the chasm in 2016

By - 3 March 2016

Marketing literature enthusiasts can most likely recall the excellent read that is “Crossing the Chasm”. Geoffrey Moore offers the explanation that in any disruptive innovation market, a critical chasm exists between the period when a market attracts its first early adopters and the moment when it finds a way to reach the early majority.

In other words, a company aiming to offer a new high tech product to mainstream customers must first secure an effective strategy that allows them to cross this chasm; a feat that Moore considers to be a challenge in itself.

The DFS sector in Europe has been facing this chasm for two years now, and thus far, our team at Oulala is pleased with what we have achieved by successfully building our own share of bridges over it. One such bridge arrived in the form of Oulala’s official partnership with Leicester City, the current leader of the Premier League. Nevertheless, we are fully aware that without a number of significant changes in the market ecosystem, the process of crossing the chasm may prove to be exceedingly difficult. We entered 2016 with plenty of aspirations as well as several resolutions. Remarkably, a significant number of them have already come into fruition, not even eight weeks into the beginning of the year. Thus, we can anticipate that 2016 will indeed be the year where the chasm will be crossed. The following outlines the way this process is unfolding.

Legislators are finally turning their eyes towards DFS
In most European countries, DFS lacked a licence that would enable them to flourish successfully and was therefore only considered a “grey activity”. Such non-recognition presented a critical obstacle in the way of our sector’s healthy development.

Italy, France, Denmark, the Czech Republic… the list of the European countries that have begun to permit DFS (or will very soon) is steadily growing. This legislative wave is rapidly becoming a major green light for our industry.

Certainly, in most cases, DFS is considered to be iGaming. This means that we will need to direct an extensive measure of energy towards clarifying and convincing legislators of the specific nature of our industry. The latter primarily comprises a monetised skill game that requires a specific licence. Malta itself will soon be issuing a specific licence for DFS. Nevertheless, this is a giant step towards the democratisation of DFS in Europe.

Let’s welcome DraftKings
Another key element was the expansion of DraftKings into the UK at the very beginning of February. Up until now, there have been no European operators who were successfully able to invest the required budget that would lead to a massive evangelisation of the targeted consumers.

The arrival of DraftKings is therefore excellent news for our very young European industry. In the same way that they did in the USA, DraftKings will invest an unprecedented marketing budget, starting with their announced partnership with major UK clubs, including Liverpool, Arsenal and Watford.

As a result, public awareness of our sector will rise exponentially in the next couple of months, offering promising benefits for operators.

DFS, the next poker?
The ICE London event was an amazing success, as always. This year, however, the event was abuzz with discussions on the rise of DFS in Europe. This could easily be considered a prelude to a major shift due to the growing establishment of DFS as the next big thing!

The zero-risks advantage of a white label solution
Finally, companies like Oulala have begun to offer a white label version of their Fantasy Sports game to iGaming operators aspiring to enter this new market. Before the end of the year, there will be an abundance of sports betting punters and poker players who will be able to try DFS directly on their usual iGaming sites. There is no doubt that the market will benefit very strongly from this BtoB strategy.

When considered individually, any of the four changes discussed earlier provides substantial input to the European DFS sector. Combined, they are indisputably a major game changer that will allow the market to cross the chasm before the end of the year.

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