Sportsbooks look for creative ways to engage customers
As we remain in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many sportsbooks online are looking for new and creative ways to engage their current, and hopefully attract new customers.
With every major professional or collegiate sport (team or individual) postponed or canceled, there are leagues across the pond and also some new things, that you might not have thought which you can actually wager on.
In New Jersey, one major online sportsbook is doing everything that it can to maintain some kind of normalcy in this time of uncertainty.
DraftKings, which has an office in Hoboken, has a number of futures markets available across all sports, including on NFL Draft and a QB Next Team Special. They are also offering several international leagues, including Turkey Super Lig soccer, Australia A-League soccer, as well as Turkish and Russian basketball.
“These have proved really popular with our players in the absence of many of the regular options,” said Johnny Avello, DraftKings’ Director of Race and Sportsbook. “We have always offered a wide range of U.S. and international sports and leagues, but we’ve moved quickly to broaden our offerings so our customers still have a great source of entertainment.
“We’ve added table tennis, handball, snooker, netball, chess, volleyball and rugby. Sports might be on hiatus but DraftKings isn’t.”
Over the past few weeks. DraftKings has offered unique free and paid pools on sports and current events of the day. For instance, this week they are offering free-to-play pools on Wednesday’s TV show Survivor Winners at War, along with Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Football League (NFL) Division winners. You make your picks; you compete against others and win money based on the amount of correct picks chosen.
“Our free-to-play pools are available and are offered almost daily,” Avello said. “Last week, we had $1,000 prize pools built around the Thursday night airing of “Jeopardy” and the season premiere of “Top Chef.”
“We offered a political pool on the Democratic Debate and had more than 60,000 unique entries. On Friday night, DraftKings held a $10,000 “Shark Tank” pool with questions including which shark would be the first to make a deal and if Mr. Wonderful would tell someone that they are “dead to him” as well as a “Curb Your Enthusiasm Pool” with questions like will Susie yell at Larry and Jeff in the same scene?
“In the absence of major U.S. sports leagues, we have seen over 240,000 entries into our pools. Over this weekend specifically, we saw more than 65,000 entries across our Shark Tank Pool, NFL Popularity Pool, College Basketball Reddit Simulation Pool, and Curb Your Enthusiasm Pool among others.”
All current pools contests can be found here and are a great way to have fun with your friends and family, even if you can’t be together in person. With so much time on everyone’s hands, the key is to be creative on a daily basis to engage both current and new customers and to offer things to them in a unique and fun fashion.
“With all of the major sports leagues going dark, we are working diligently to provide new and exciting ways to engage with the platform,” Avello said. “Again, given this challenging time, our hope has been to redirect customer attention and provide them with an escape through creativity and entertainment.
“We are using this time to really hone in on customer interests external to the world of sports. Knowing that people are looking for a source of entertainment during this challenging time, we wanted to be sure to offer our platform as an option to everyone, even those outside of where we typically operate, pursuant to state regulations.”
Over the past couple of weeks, DK’s creativity has paid off.
“There has been significant interest in foreign leagues, far greater than we normally see,” Avello said. “For example, we have seen a 1338 percent increase in betting on the Turkish Süper Lig. As with major American sports for millions of Americans, playing DraftKings is an essential part of their sports and entertainment experience.”
Avello knows this can be a long break from professional team and individual sports, but understands it offers an opportunity to offer and highlight other leagues that might not get the promotion and traffic from bettors.
“While this is a very unique situation, our priority is to keep customers and non-customers alike satisfied and entertained by offering everything and anything we can,” he said. “It’s a trying time right now and our goal is to continue operating as close to normal as possible, given the circumstances.”