Long-time sports business and technology expert Gabriel Smallman explains how FanReach is helping teams and leagues explore gaming and gambling concepts. Not only do these technologies have new revenue potential, but measurable interactions show that fan engagement is incredibly high, especially with younger generations.
Gabe Smallman, FanReach:
As big as sports is – the gambling business is just as big. Now what we’re seeing is leagues and teams all trying to figure out how they can get a piece of that pie. Gamification is seen as the precursor. It absolutely has a fan engagement value as well. So if you’re watching the game, you’re playing the thing, and we hear that all the time right now. Teams are like, “listen we can’t put people in the venue. Fans want to engage with us – our app, our brand. They can’t go to the venue so gaming is a great way to do it.” And then teams are looking to sell sponsorships, so there’s a big… I call it a “rights grab” going on in the space. There’s you know a handful of betting companies all vying for the market and they’re all big, they have huge marketing budgets, and they’re looking at it as…. There’s going to be – just like in the media space – there’s going to be one Netflix. There’s going to be one Disney. There’s going to be one ESPN. They’re trying to like vie for that space. And what teams are doing is looking at “how can we do deals with them?” Sponsorship? And what we at FanReach are trying to do is to come up with packages that excite those sponsors more than just the traditional – we call the the the “dips and dots.” More than “oh great we’ll throw up a banner.” We want to do more than that. We want to come up with programs that really engage the fan as part of it to cultivate that relationship, and then eventually try to turn it into essentially a conversion for whoever the sponsorship partner is.