Following its new agreement to distribute premium football odds from La Liga, Serie A and CBF División A, Genius Sports’ James McKiernan sets out why football continues to dominate in-play betting and the breadth of the company’s offering.
Content is king. Over 25 years ago, Bill Gates’ famous phrase heralded how the internet would revolutionise our lives whilst predicting where the real money would be made online.
Fast forward to today and the global betting industry epitomises this phrase where official live football content is king. While other sports competitions may attract more betting handle in certain markets, such as the NFL in the US, nothing comes close to football from a global fan engagement perspective.
There are numerous reasons for football’s global prominence as must-have content. As shown by the recent EY Sports Engagement Index, football still comes out on top across every generation for those who watch, follow and participate in any sport. Football is quite simply still considered to be the world game with a global fanbase counted in the billions that attracts the largest sponsors.
Built for betting
This burgeoning demand for more football has helped forge a formidable betting proposition. Bookmakers cater to this global audience by offering a vast array of markets across thousands of football competitions played across all international time zones.
In addition, the way the game is structured and played inherently provides the key ingredients for a perfect betting product that has enabled football to ignite the explosion of in-play betting over the last 15 years. Football is a highly unpredictable game with low scoring, which tends to lead to more results going against the odds than sports such as basketball or rugby.
This unpredictability, combined with the natural rhythm of football games with ebbs and flows in the action around occasional key events, provide bettors with constant live engagement as well as room to pause and consider their next bet.
Nowhere is football’s popularity for betting more obvious than the English Premier League. More than 30 years on from its inception, the Premier League is now broadcast across 188 countries to over 800 million homes, reaching billions of fans globally. From a betting perspective, it attracts more handle than any other competition in world sport with the ‘anyone can beat anyone’ nature of the league creating a compelling proposition.
At Genius Sports, we first partnered with Football DataCo as the exclusive official data rights holder of UK football including the Premier League back in 2019. Since then, our average bookings per customer for football have more than doubled, accelerated by adding high-quality, premium content to our offering. In addition to UK football, this has included official data rights partnerships with the German Bundesliga, Argentine Football Association, Dimayor (Colombia), Liga MX and many more.
The complete football offering
Through our new agreement with Stats Perform, Genius Sports now has access to official data, captured in-venue from all of the leading football leagues in Europe and Latin America. In Europe, we can now offer premium in-play odds through our LiveTrading solution on La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1, creating complete coverage for our partners across the Big Five men’s football leagues.
With the first sports betting licences expected within months in Brazil, we have also added the premium competitions run by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) to our offering. This includes Brazil’s Série A, Série B, Paulista competitions and much more. Similar to Europe, this completes our LatAm football offering on the biggest competitions across Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru. And crucially, all our content and sportsbook services for these competitions are powered by the highest-quality official data.
The global betting industry has been through seismic shifts in the last decade with major markets legalising, the continued growth of online and in-play wagering and the convergence with sports and media. But some things never change and just as content is still king, in our world so is betting.
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