A summer of sport has officially exploded into action, with fans all over the world primed for months of action that spans numerous geographies and, hopefully, countless examples of athletic excellence.

However, within the realm of online gambling, Euro 2024 represents a significant opportunity to gain ground, with the volume of punters certain to rise both before and during the Germany-based month-long tournament.

With this in mind, Malte Hegeler, VP Product at BtoBetLuke Saunders, Vice President of Commercial at OpenBet, and Alex Beecham, Managing Director at Checkd Media, address the competition’s place alongside counterparts, what cross-selling opportunities it presents and strategies that can be put in place to retain punters amid a rise in numbers.

SBC NewsWith the upcoming tournament being arguably the biggest footballing event outside of the World Cup, is there significant interest from global punters, and what is the spread of this interest?

Luke Saunders: Absolutely, the upcoming tournament garners considerable attention from punters worldwide. While European wagering levels are expected to dominate due to the event’s local appeal and convenient time zone, there is also potential for increased wagering from the US market.

We’ve witnessed the growing popularity of football (soccer) in the US week in, week out, with the Premier League as one of the most bet on competitions outside of the traditional ‘US sports’.

However, the largest tournaments are best at capturing the public’s imagination and we expect outsized interest in the Euros, as we saw during the 2022 World Cup which saw more bet slips across November and December than the prior 10 months combined.

Similarly, trends in South America show a growing interest, although naturally the Copa America will be a focal point for the region this summer. Overall, the Euros attracts a diverse global audience, reflecting the universal appeal of football as a sport and the betting activity surrounding it.

Malte Hegeler: The Euro Football Championship 2024 is indeed capturing the attention of punters worldwide, but of course with a particular emphasis on Europe. In terms of significance, it holds a comparable status to the World Cup for European clients, showcasing its immense popularity within the region.

The expanded format of this year’s tournament, featuring 24 teams, translates to more matches and broader participation from countries compared to previous editions of the European cups. However, being held in the summer poses a challenge, as it competes with various leisure activities for viewership and engagement.

The participation of numerous prominent nations ensures a dedicated fanbase, with fans eagerly supporting their respective teams. Additionally, there’s a notable interest in matches involving rivals, such as German fans closely following the fortunes of the Netherlands. This dynamic creates opportunities for introducing varied marketing options, further fuelling interest and engagement among punters.

As the tournament progresses, especially in the later stages, the intensity heightens, leading to high-stakes matchups where the winner takes all. This scenario amplifies the excitement and draws even more attention from global audiences.

Alex Beecham: Euro 2024 is a colossal footballing spectacle that will draw plenty of interest from punters worldwide, even rivalling the World Cup in its magnitude. In the United States, we’ve seen a growing appetite for European competitions, particularly the Premier League, on our FlashPicks platform.

To cater for this demand, we recently rolled out a new soccer content and tips section to the website. Elsewhere, African engagement with European football content and betting insights remains high, reflecting the continent’s enthusiasm for the sport.

In terms of our business and partners, the focus of the Euro 2024 drive is still undeniably weighted heavily towards the UK audience, but we expect increased activity across certain African countries as well as in the US.

SBCNWhat are the prevailing cross-betting opportunities during the European Football Championship 2024, and are there any new trends emerging in operator campaigns?

MH: From my perspective, during Euro 2024, I’m looking forward in seeing a ton of cross-betting opportunities, particularly in player and specialised markets. Operators are keen on providing unique experiences, specials, and a broader spectrum of options to entice bettors.

While there may not be revolutionary trends emerging, operators are consistently trying to innovate to distinguish their offerings and sustain interest. I look forward to encountering fresh, unconventional options in player markets and tailored offerings designed for specific regions.

In essence, the focus is on retaining bettors by delivering distinctive experiences, with a spotlight on creating niche markets specifically tailored for European Football Championship 2024. This includes catering to the general interest across the board, particularly around big games and bet builder bets.

Operators face the challenge of understanding local markets and differentiating themselves from the competition. At BtoBet, we’re actively contributing to this effort. Our trading team has developed numerous special bets, enabling clients the opportunity to stand out in their regions.

What’s intriguing is that in crafting localised offers and specialised markets, our trading teams are drawing on old-school skills to set up odds and markets. This blend of traditional expertise with modern innovation ensures a dynamic and engaging betting experience for customers throughout the tournament.

AB: Royal Ascot takes place during the group stages of Euro 2024. This presents a natural multi-sport crossover, particularly with runners owned by famous football personalities.

The group stage in Germany presents three matches per day at the start of the competition and this offers plenty of opportunity for trebles and same-day cross-match bet builders. The Copa America also amplifies cross-betting prospects for bettors, with notable Premier League players gracing both tournaments.

I expect operators to showcase free-to-play Euro 2024 games in their retention and acquisition campaigns this summer, tapping into excitement surrounding the tournament to engage and attract new and existing customers.

There will also be an expansion of the range of bet builder-style markets on offer, reflecting the need to cater to the evolving needs of the football betting audience.

LS: The relative lack of concurrency of matches means BetBuilder tends to perform exceptionally well, giving bettors the opportunity to bet small and win big on individual matches. Where there are concurrent matches – for example, at the end of the groups – then enabling BetBuilder in multiples is an essential functionality for operators to give bettors flexibility and drive margin.

We’re also excited to introduce our new BetBuilder In-Play product, responding to the growing demand for these dynamic betting options. As pioneers in BetBuilder technology, we’re committed to becoming the industry’s premier content provider in this space. Our initial rollout will coincide with the Euros and we’re aiming to expand the range of available markets and sports over the coming months, utilising real-time official data.

Through SportCast, we’ll offer an extensive selection of over 50 markets, including goal scorers, corners and cards, which we know drive the most engagement pre-match. This not only enhances customer engagement but also provides operators with a competitive edge, driving additional revenue streams for our partners.

SBCNTraffic numbers always spike during major sporting events – Is there a strategy for retaining bettors after they’ve had a casual flutter on their team?

AB: The focus will be on building excitement from full-time in the Champions League final through to the opening game of Euro 2024, 13 days later. On the affiliate side, CRM, app and social touchpoints are key to maintaining interest.

Operators are generally very adept in CRM strategies to maintain regular activity, through both existing customer propositions and free-to-play games.

Amid the surge in traffic during Euro 2024, a strategic approach is essential for retaining bettors beyond their initial casual bet on their team.

Giving punters access to comprehensive stats and insights on players and teams will drive interest outside of their home teams playing, particularly in highlighting lesser-known players and teams who might well have a hidden gem or two who could end up in the Premier League.

Focusing on tournament-long bets is also a compelling strategy for maintaining high interest throughout the group and knockout rounds, providing longer-term stakes in the competition.

LS: Retaining bettors post-event is a major focus for our operator partners. We understand the importance of offering diverse content and markets across multiple sports to keep users engaged.  With a packed summer of sporting events including the Euros, Copa America, and the Olympics, there’s ample opportunity to maintain the momentum and generate high interest throughout.

Additionally, providing a seamless and secure user experience is paramount. Our stable platform has consistently operated at the highest standards during major events with zero downtime, supported by quality content and robust player protection tools.

By prioritising customer satisfaction and safety, we aim to build long-term relationships with bettors, ensuring they return for future events and betting opportunities whilst reinforcing our reputation for reliability, flexibility, and scalability.

MH: Keeping bettors interested after major events like Euro 2024 – or after their favourite teams have been eliminated – is crucial for operators. One tactic is to mix free bet campaigns with competitions that offer jackpot opportunities.

Moreover, operators can offer specials on outright bets and fun wagers to maintain interest throughout the tournament. Despite the short gap between domestic seasons and Euro 2024, operators might use various tools, including promotions and localised offerings, to retain bettors.

When it comes to our sportsbook, we are rolling out new betting options for operators to provide their players, combining team performances across major tournaments. For instance, players can bet on whether England will win both the European Championship and the Gold medal in the Olympics, or if Brazil will reach the final of the Copa America tournament and earn a medal at the Olympics.

These combined bets enhance the excitement, making the summer sporting season more engaging for everyone involved. Some casual bettors who sign up with an operator for Euro 2024 to only bet on their favourite teams might leave afterwards, but events like Copa America and the Olympics can provide ongoing engagement opportunities.

Ultimately, the aim is to offer unique experiences to retain both new and existing bettors, highlighting the importance of creativity and tailored promotions in the retention strategy.

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