Operator Tracker Q1 2024: A first look at FairPlay Sports Media’s proprietary insights

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FairPlay Sports Media dives into some key trends emerging from the UK as Cheltenham comes to the fore in playing a key role in brand perception
The post Operator Tracker Q1 2024: A first look at FairPlay Sports Media’s proprietary insights first appeared on EGR Intel.  

Running since 2021, the FairPlay Sports Media Operator Tracker has analysed brand perceptions of the UK’s leading sportsbooks to derive truly valuable insight that assists industry stakeholders and internal brand teams with strategic planning and market positioning.

In this ongoing quarterly feature, we will be sharing the latest tracker data with EGR readers to provide a quantitative foundation to their existing understanding of both the established market of the UK and the burgeoning and dynamic, yet fragmented, US market.

For further information on the methodology, history and purpose of the Operator Tracker, please click here.

The below tracker snapshot shows the distinctive strengths of the UK’s leading sportsbooks. The maturity of the market, housing multiple established brands, has allowed for long-term marketing campaigns to play out. Brands are able to win over various segments of the audience who value their product and brand strengths.

This is in contrast to newly regulated markets, such as the US, where brands are still scrapping over initial acquisition plays rather than differentiating their brand personalities and product strengths.

What we see from the UK data is a diverse set of brands with differing product strengths. It’s worth noting here that those surveyed for the Operator Tracker are highly engaged bettors who hold a strong understanding of both sportsbooks they bet with and those they don’t. They’re aware of marketing campaigns, product availability and the general market positioning of the leading UK sportsbooks.

This divergence of perception data allows us to create a picture of each brand’s strength. In this case, we can reasonably state that in Q1 2024 bet365’s pull comes from its delivery of value to its bettors, with it performing well in ‘best odds guaranteed’, best odds’ and ‘price boosts’, while Sky Bet has played more heavily on customer relationship messaging, resulting in a distinct brand strength around ‘loyalty schemes’.

As well as tracking perceptions of product features, shown in the chart above, the Operator Tracker also measures more intangible brand associations using values such as ‘fun’, ‘trustworthy’ and ‘fair’, as shown below. Paddy Power has a standout association with a sense of ‘fun’, which will resonate with the majority of those who have come across any one of their stunts or marketing campaigns over the past decade.

The brand associations and personalities tracked here are developed by consistent messaging over time, whether that be in terms of communicating on product or via more creative channels. Paddy Power has almost exclusively held its own in its chosen space via an ongoing repetition of output and tone that is distinct from peers, with the tracker data showing just that with its score of +14% in ‘fun’.

Key events playing a role

The latest set of results, taken in March following the Cheltenham Festival, has seen an increased association for bet365 with all things ‘value’.

The brand has widened the gap versus their nearest competitor, Sky Bet, on associations including ‘generous’, ‘price boosts’ and ‘best odds’. This is following a strong campaign of generous boosts throughout the festival, while Sky Bet focused more on ‘extra places’ (a particular strength for the brand).

The next wave of data will show if this trend continues, with the Euros likely to be the key battleground for brands to communicate their strengths to the betting audience.

About FairPlay Sports Media

EGR and FairPlay Sports Media have partnered to bring a data-led, quarterly report on brand perception of leading firms in the sector. These insights are produced by FairPlay Sports Media senior customer insights manager Peter Morris.

Morris has more than a decade of experience working in market research, starting his career working at agencies Ipsos Mori and then 2CV, with a particular focus on brand and marketing research projects.

 In 2018 he joined what was then Oddschecker, focusing on UK product and marketing insight. Since then, he has expanded his role, heading up customer insight within FairPlay Sports Media, providing intel across all their operations and territories. 

The post Operator Tracker Q1 2024: A first look at FairPlay Sports Media’s proprietary insights first appeared on EGR Intel.


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