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Genius Sports: driving brand awareness

By - 23 March 2020

Over the last 10 years, Genius Sports Media has helped hundreds of betting and gaming brands around-the-world to drive brand awareness, acquire new customers and maximise player value. G3 speaks to Genius Sports’ Simon Mukerjee about the future for gambling advertising.

Could you tell us more about Genius Sports Media and what you do?

With a sector-specific media buying platform and an in-house creative service, we devise and deliver targeted, personalised digital marketing campaigns from start-to-finish, driving down acquisition costs and cutting wasted spend.

Last June we made the strategic move to broaden our business beyond betting and gaming, and now work with a huge range of brands looking to tap into the valuable sports fan demographic. In the time since, we’ve worked closely with high-profile names particularly in the U.S., including NBC, CBS and clubs in the NHL and MLB.

In June, Genius Sports Media launched a new, end-to-end digital agency service for sportsbook and gaming operators, sports rights holders, brands and digital publishers. Could you tell us more about that and how Genius Sports Media helps market gaming operators?

Genius Sports Media’s foundations are in personalised online marketing campaigns. Internally, we have advanced capabilities that allow us to understand sports fans, their preferences, how they consume sports media and so on. We then use this data to target contextual campaigns in the right place at the right time.

If you’re an online sportsbook in the UK looking to acquire new football customers, we help you pinpoint and purchase inventory on high-traffic sites, and serve ad banners at moments of high engagement – like when the line ups are announced before the weekend’s big game between Arsenal and Tottenham. These are designed to be on-brand and can incorporate live odds, odds comparisons and match stats which all update in real-time. The experience for the fan is simply superior.

By aligning campaigns to the sporting calendar, Genius Sports Media delivers real value for brands, not just in reducing metrics like CPAs but also in their brand equity.

How do you build digital relationships with fans through digital campaigns and what is the role of live sports in ad campaigns?

In-play marketing is an opportunity that really excites us. We help brands in sports, betting and media to channel the excitement of live sports in their marketing by putting Genius Sports’ live data at the heart of our ad tech.

For publishers looking to drive subscriptions, sportsbooks looking to acquire players and clubs after merchandise sales, delivering relevant campaigns as Harry Kane scores, Tom Brady completes a game-defining pass or James Harden nets a buzzer- beater is the perfect way to cut through the noise and build a long-lasting rapport.

Are we seeing any new marketing trends emerging due to more restrictive advertising rules? Do you think we could see stricter advertising regulation in the future? Are restrictions on gambling advertising inevitable?

With above-the-line advertising either restricted or at the centre of regulatory momentum in markets across Europe, greater spend on digital has been a trend in the past 12 months. On these channels, operators have more control over who is seeing their brand. Through blacklisting and channelling audience data, leading programmatic providers now ensure all campaigns are highlytargeted and not run on sites where vulnerable demographics like minors are active.

When it comes to the tone of marketing, we’ve seen a major shift towards brand-led campaigns, with product and pricing at their heart rather the aggressive bonuses and free-bets. This has had a positive effect on brand perception.

What steps can the industry take to promote responsible gambling and what could your role be in regulation going forwards?

The most powerful way to create an environment which holistically protects problem gamblers and self-excluded players is collaboration. By sharing data and best practices, agencies, suppliers and brands can ensure players who should not be marketed to are not ever marketed to. The industry has a responsibility to do this and supported by the Betting & Gaming Council, the UK market is beginning to do so – be that in ad tech, game design or the tone and content of marketing.

Globally, Genius Sports Media is very active in the shift towards responsible marketing, working closely with operators and regulators to create a sustainable marketing ecosystem. One initiative we’re currently running is allowing our partners to use our advertising technology to promote responsible gambling messages, at no cost.

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