Opta and Sky Bet discuss team and player stats betting boom

Opta and Sky Bet discuss team and player stats betting boom

Monday, April 9, 2018 Posted by Craig Davies
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How does a changing sports fan impact betting?

The realm of statistics is very much continuing on an upwards trend, with a changing sports fan, who has a rising need for player and team based stats, impacting the betting customer and potentially changing what the future could hold.

Opta and Sky Betting and Gaming (SB&G) are two such parties driving this forward, with the former having a rich history of data collection across the Premier League and other top competitions, with wide use not just in betting but across broadcast, sports media, fantasy games and sports clubs.

Opta chief analyst Duncan Alexander gave a brief breakdown of the changing face of sports data: “I think we have seen a pretty major shift over the last three or four years, I have been in the industry about 12 years, so I have seen sports data go from a fairly niche thing that was there on broadcast and in the media, but the brand of Opta was not that very well known.

“A bit change for us was 2009 when we launched our social media platform OptaJoe, which had a little pushback at the start because people couldn’t understand why you would give this content away for free, it could upset people who are paying for it, but actually it turned out they quite liked a stream of ideas essentially.

“And it also meant that we could see what fans liked, the stuff that we might have thought would really appeal to fans didn’t necessarily do that, and vice versa.

“As people who are on social media will know, people are quite quick to let you know if they don’t like anything, they were able to finesse what we do quite quickly.”

Discussing markets that aren’t yet mature, Andy Wright, head of sports at SB&G, stated the need to move away from a “homogenised betting product,” stressing that “really player props was always the next step.”

After detailing a semi-launch night where the “penny dropped”, and which saw punters celebrate a variety of tackles and passes, Wright spoke of the coverage being offered and potential further roll outs.

Could Europe’s ‘big leagues’ sustain such offerings? And would there be punter interest in betting on such markets stretch beyond the core televised games? Wright stated:  “I think this is where we almost take a steer from the states, when you see that the customers are interested in Basketball players and less so the teams.

“So I think it’s probably an element that, Neymar played for PSG and these things might be popular because customers have a view, they might not have a view on PSG.

“Getting back to the earlier point of the World Cup, you recognise players playing in this match, but you don’t know how Panama are lining up.

“I think, would we go guns blazing on the Bundesliga, perhaps not, but if its Bayern vs Dortmund and there’s players that customers will recognise then maybe yes, and similarly ex Premier League players that make moves abroad, Ronaldo, Bale etc will always be popular.

“I think it comes back to the UK customer and what they want to bet on, we will keep trying things and if they stick they stick, if they don’t they we will move on.”

Totally Gaming says: The role that statistics play in the delivery of, not just football, but sports in general is becoming deeper across a variety of platforms. Gone are the days where goals and assists are the only stats that count, with Alexander also stating the recent importance of data collected on goalkeepers passing, due in part to the Pep Guardiola effect. As consumers become more adept at understand the new wave of stats constantly brought forward, it seems only natural that people would also want to bet on them.    

Wright and Alexander spoke alongside Shane Gannon, SVP of Perform Betting, at the recent Betting on Football conference at Stamford Bridge, in a panel titled ‘Opta and Sky Bet’s blueprint for player props perfection.’

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