Betting is human nature. In fact, in most languages around the world, whenever we want to express our certainty about an issue, we use the phrase “wanna bet?”.
Small wonder then that the revenue in the online sports betting market is projected to reach US$43.55bn in 2023 and US$63.62bn by 2027¹. People just love to bet. A sharp marketing thinker would assume that the online betting advertising industry would be set for unlimited growth but, like most things in life, it’s not without its challenges.
There’s a catch or two.
For one, traditional advertising channels, such as TV ads, aren’t nearly enough as they often can’t showcase clips from sports events without inadvertently displaying competitors’ banners in the field. (Understandably, a competitor would absolutely love that). Secondly, Meta and Google have also introduced restrictions on advertising in certain categories—and online betting happens to be one of them. What’s an online betting vendor to do then? Where will new advertising opportunities come from?
The Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), of course. MNOs have access to vast amounts of user data and robust messaging capabilities, providing a direct channel to engage audiences. By leveraging this, MNOs can connect online betting brands with a highly engaged audience, that they couldn’t access before.
Engage the already engaged.
Here’s a proposition that can’t be beaten. And it goes by the name of Sponsored Club. Sponsored Club is a free subscription service created by Upstream, where users join a premium betting club. And with MNOs acting as alternative advertising channels, one can build a customer base for the brand, while offering the subscribed audience sports related educational content.
Online betting brands can reach a new audience by sponsoring a text channel which gives out free content related to betting and creates a user base of customers with the brand’s profile. When users join, they receive exclusive, curated, educational content such as betting tips, special offers, sport news and lots more, sent directly to their device via various text channels such as SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, and RCS. And unlike betting, both parties win: MNOs monetize their advertising impressions and betting brands build a base of opted in customers they can target with laser-like precision once they get to know what they like.
Coming up aces.
Sponsored club is the ultimate winning combo for online betting brands. They can reach a target audience that was previously unavailable to them—and, more importantly, one that is already engaged. Also, customers, by the very act of having subscribed, interact more meaningfully with the brand. And with timely, agile messaging that’s a perfect match for live sports events, the audience gets engaged at the right moment and is surely a lot easier to convert.
The magic of Sponsored club isn’t limited to betting. By building a fan club of hot leads likely to convert and by serving them contextual content, it presents a great opportunity for other verticals too, such as beauty, health, or retail, as it can drive direct traffic straight to a brand’s website.
The sponsored club is designed to address a variety of business objectives: it can enhance branding and awareness, create a CRM base with a focus on register collection, as well as achieve performance objectives through metrics, such as CPL, CPA and CPC.
Upstream is ideally positioned to help online betting brands — or any other brand — maximize their advertising opportunities. In fact, we have already partnered with a top betting vendor in Brazil and successfully launched the sponsored club. The results? 1.5 million users were targeted every day that resulted in an average of 50k new subscribers in the sponsored club every 24 hours. We run various multi-channel promotional campaigns with real-time club related content to this audience via SMS, RCS and app push notifications.
And that sounds like a sure bet.