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SportCaller in position for enhanced engagement with Off The Ball

George Miller

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SportCaller in position for enhanced engagement with Off The Ball
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Popular Irish sports broadcaster enlists FTP specialist for a fun series of rapid-fire “live” quizzes to improve the viewer experience

SportCaller, the leading free-to-play (FTP) sports-game provider, has joined forces with Off The Ball, Ireland’s popular sports news and analysis show, to drive audience engagement during the current sporting shutdown with a series of entertaining “live broadcast” quizzes.

The deal is the first of its kind with a multi-platform sports media company, demonstrating SportCaller’s growing reach outside its typical sports betting arena, connecting with more mainstream audiences and responsibly introducing them to the value and highly social nature of free-to-play products.

These rapid-fire tests of trivia track a topical schedule of flagship events that would traditionally capture players’ interests and imaginations around this time of year, while also incorporating a steady diet of general knowledge questions around all major sports.

SportCaller’s live-quiz configurations run off a last-man-standing mechanic, whereby players must submit each answer before a clock-count winds down, with correct answers progressing to the next question. Ultimately, a €1,000 prize is either won or shared between any participant(s) who can post a perfect score across the entire quiz.

This seasonal series showcases SportCaller’s flexibility and capacity to deliver softer marketing functions with which to responsibly maintain customer engagement and digital dwell-time. While these fresh formats have been naturally adapted to the present pandemic, their manifest utility for broader retention has also carved out a long-term future as part of a progressive product set and marketing strategy for both media partners and operators.

These quizzes are fronted by a rota of familiar personalities from Off The Ball, whose main host Ger Gilroy is regularly joined by household names including Brian O’Driscoll and Kevin Kilbane. The show is sponsored by Paddy Power, who first launched SportCaller’s signature Beat The Drop game to universal acclaim back at the 2018 World Cup. The free-to-play specialist has since gone on to bolster this strong relationship at group level for Flutter Entertainment, whose mega-merger with The Stars Group was completed at the beginning of May.

Cillian Barry, MD at SportCaller, said: “We’re thrilled to be breaking new ground with Off The Ball via these new Live Broadcast quizzes, showing that now is the time to be pushing fresh concepts and products for our increasingly diverse range of clients. They say that personality goes a long way and OTB has it in spades. As a result, the SportCaller platform is another conduit by which OTB can express the content of that character to a loyal, sports-mad audience looking for some light relief.

“Clearly, you’re never going to replicate the same levels of engagement until all live sports can reliably find a way back. However, we can still offer fun, thematic content with these simple FTP games which build brand loyalty and an audience which returns to watch, listen and play. I believe this represents another key proving ground outside our original sportsbook domain, with these quizzes helping to fashion a wider and improved marketing mix.”

Ger Gilroy, Managing Director of Off The Ball, added: “It’s imperative that we keep our viewers and listeners entertained across our live radio and podcast channels, despite many of their favourite major sports still being unavailable. Happily, SportCaller’s innovative quizzes are allowing us to open up another outlet of competitive fun and social enjoyment for our enthusiastic audience.

“Their games fit neatly into our programming schedule and check all the boxes for responsible engagement. We’re always looking for new experiences to better connect our viewers to the sports they love, and SportCaller’s creative-content ideation and swift tech integration set them apart.”

Industry News

Gaming Realms Signs Licensing Agreement with Pragmatic Play

Niji Narayan

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Gaming Realms Signs Licensing Agreement with Pragmatic Play
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Gaming Realms has signed a licensing agreement with Pragmatic Play to produce Pragmatic Play-themed Slingo games.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gaming Realms is to license market-leading brands from Pragmatic Play’s expansive game portfolio, including Sweet Bonanza and Wolf Gold, to create Slingo games.

Michael Buckley, executive chairman of Gaming Realms, said: “This licensing partnership with Pragmatic Play opens up a range of cross-sell benefits to both parties. The collaboration between two organisations with a key focus on content innovation in the digital space is truly exciting.

“Pragmatic Play creates engaging and immersive gaming content that fits perfectly with Slingo; we’re hoping this announcement should excite both operators and players.”

Yossi Barzely, chief business development officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “Creating memorable gaming experiences is a priority for us and Gaming Realms has an excellent reputation through its Slingo portfolio.

“We have an extremely positive feeling about the potential for Pragmatic Play-themed Slingo games and are eager to see this partnership realise its potential.”

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ZEAL Network Reports Good Start to 2021

Niji Narayan

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ZEAL Network Reports Good Start to 2021
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German online lottery products provider ZEAL Network SE has reported a good start to 2021, with the company increasing its revenue, profitability and achieving a strong gross margin.

In the first quarter of 2021, billings rose by 17% to EUR 163.31 million (2020: EUR 140.0 million), of which the Germany segment accounted for almost the entire amount at EUR 163.3 million (2020: EUR 139.7 million). Revenue increased by as much as 19% to EUR 22.6 million (2020: EUR 19.0 million), of which EUR 21.1 million was attributable to the Germany segment (2020: EUR 17.0 million). At 12.7%, the gross margin in the Germany segment was above the prior-year level (2020: 12.1%).

During the fiscal period, the Company gained 156 thousand new registered customers in the Germany segment (2020: 206 thousand). Adjusted EBITDA rose to EUR 4.6 million (2020: EUR 2.8 million) – there were no non-recurring expenses or income. The Germany segment accounted for EUR 4.1 million of this amount (2020: EUR 1.9 million). EBIT and net profit of EUR 2.4 million and EUR 2.5 million, respectively, were also well above the prior-year figures (2020: EUR 0.0 million and EUR 0.1 million, respectively).

“We are pleased that, following the LOTTO24 takeover, the business model change and the organisational adjustments, we will again be able to publish truly comparable figures in the current and previous reporting periods with the first quarter of 2021. In addition, we already demonstrated in the past year that we are capable of exploiting market opportunities, adapting to dynamic environments and continuously fine-tuning our business model. We are consistently continuing along this path,” Jonas Mattsson, CFO of ZEAL Network SE, said.

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Industry News

Dutch Lottery Board Appoints Alexander Pechtold as Chairman

Niji Narayan

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Dutch Lottery Board Appoints Alexander Pechtold as Chairman
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The Dutch Lottery’s supervisory board has appointed retired politician Alexander Pechtold as chairman. He replaces the outgoing chairman of the board, Jan Loorbach, whose tenure has come to an end.

Pechtold is currently general director of The Netherland’s central bureau for driving licences. Before retiring from politics, he had a long career in the Democrats 66 (D66) party, including a 12-year tenure as a parliamentary leader from 2006 to 2018.

“It is an honour to be able to contribute to the future of the largest socially oriented, pre-Dutch gaming organisation. The Netherlands Lottery has proven its position in the lottery market. With just as much energy and confidence, the Netherlands Lottery will also become active in the online gambling market with a responsible offer,” Pechtold said.

“The board and the entire management of the Dutch Lottery are happy with the arrival of Alexander Pechtold. He is introduced to a healthy and future-oriented organisation, and we look forward to continuing to build on our position in the gaming market with the supervisory board,” Niels Onkenhout, CEO of Dutch Lottery, said.

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