I think we are in the early stages of the age of the supercharged bet.
Although still small in numbers in an overall sense, there appears to be a growing appetite for getting more bang for ones buck, when it comes to placing a traditional sports bet.
This is hardly a shock. Over the past 10 years we have witnessed the commoditisation of betting. The difference between bet365 and Betfair PP, for example, is minimal really. Same products, same bets, slightly different ads. Everyone is more or less the same and moving in the same general direction. Something has to give, right?
Cash Out – though born in spread betting – was the first product that changed the actual experience of betting. By that, I mean the rush generated. It got right to that DNA betting level, creating “punch the air” and “head in hands” moments alike. Both are extremely powerful substances that keep punters coming back.
What we are starting to see now plays very much into that area. We don’t want to just create products to bet on anymore. We want to create real experiences. New experiences. New feelings.
Evidence of this in recent times – Betfair’s Price Rush – yes, it’s cleverly offering the sportsbook punter a price that’s already available on the exchange but I’ve actually witnessed people’s faces changing as they got “rushed”. It’s an eye widener.
Skybet’s Price Boost – same thing. Sky get around the biggest football moments by offering massive value prices on the weekends biggest game. I believe they take a frightening number of bets on these enhancements but clearly they know precisely how this works for their underlying business. People flock back. It’s essentially a brilliant bonus tool.
I’ve been involved in the development of a horse racing bet that offers you higher odds by building in a winning distance element. It’s popular, and not always on horses that are too skinny to back in the normal market. It proves there’s an appetite for getting more than just 2/1 Annie Power. Everyone offers that.
Last week Paddy Power released their Kicker product which does very much the same thing. Not content with putting 20 quid on Man Utd to win at Evens, you now get the chance to place a “kicker” bet at the same time, where your upside ramps up the more Man Utd win by. It’s a clever up sell of a bet they already offer in another form and it will probably prove popular.
Spread betting is on its arse because it was too complicated and not enough people were comfortable with having a downside greater than their stake but there are quite a few experiences that started in that genre of betting that are now helping define the age of the supercharged sports bet.