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US – March Madness retention is key for sportsbook operator success

By - 18 March 2022

With the number of U.S. states legalizing online sports betting growing at a fast pace over the last year, including legalization in New York, online gambling brands will be signing up thousands of new players during the college hoops extravaganza known as March Madness through April 4.

According to a new survey from the American Gaming Association (AGA), more than 17 percent of American adults plan to wager $3.1bn on this year’s NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.

However, CRM experts Enteractive say that retention of these new players will be key to maintaining growth in the current gold rush to build a loyal customer base.

“While iGaming operators like Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings and more are spending large sums on promotion, marketing, and competitive odds to prompt high-speed growth as they enter these new markets in the U.S., they must keep a focus on retention of all those hard-won customers,” says Mikael Hansson, founder and CEO of Enteractive, a company which has provided loyalty and engagement services for the online gambling industry since 2009, contacting players on behalf of sports betting brands with highly effective personal one-to-one phone calls.

Following the successful launch of mobile sports gambling services in New York in January, it’s clear that there’s an enormous appetite among US consumers for betting with the growing number of online sportsbooks. Online Gambling trade magazine, iGaming Next did an interesting analysis of the Superbowl handles of the big three in New York showing a rise during the game with a precipitous fall afterward, leading operators to want to smooth out these big declines.  

In 2022, with so many more states now offering legalised mobile sports betting, sportsbook operators can expect to see increased registrations from new customers around March Madness, but while this increased interest is good for business, successful growth will depend upon those new customers remaining active, rather than ‘churning’ after big events like the Final Four are over.

“There’s currently a gold rush in the U.S. sports betting market,” adds Hansson, “and the eventual winners will be those brands that engage with their customers and build relationships for the future. Every brand in this sector must keep a clear focus on all aspects of their offering, ensuring that all the hard work in getting to market, and the expense of customer acquisition is not quickly lost to lapsing relationships.”

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