Co-Pilots in Sportsbook UX, with Andy Phillips, Chief Commercial Officer at Sporting Risk
Sporting Risk is a sports analytics company that specialises in building predictive models to generate market leading pricing, betting content and Betbuilder products. We caught up with Andy Phillips, Sporting Risk Chief Commercial Officer, a sports data and tech expert with 15 years’ experience working at the intersection of sports data, technology, betting and media.
Large language models (LLMs) have finally put the long-promised benefits of AI into the hands of consumers.
The immediate opportunity for B2C platforms is using this technology in co-pilots that streamline the UX and coach users.
Microsoft has shown the way by incorporating this feature into its products, such as Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint, to provide suggestions, corrections, and insights for users. After announcing their pricing scheme for this on Tuesday 18th July, their share price hit an all-time high. No small feat for a tech stock in the post-ZIRP era of 2023.
It seems likely that these co-pilots are going to be the biggest paradigm shift in UX since the leap from desktop to mobile.
How are sportsbooks going to capitalise on this product enhancement opportunity?
There are two obvious high-impact areas that also create a level of complexity for the customer: bonusing and Betbuilder.
Bonusing can be a powerful tool to attract and retain customers, but it can also be confusing and frustrating for them. Anyone who has had to select “where’s my free bet?” on any sportsbook app will understand the need to improve UX for bonusing.
A co-pilot tool can help customers navigate through the bonusing options and find the best ones for them. It can also explain the terms and conditions, track the progress, and remind them of the deadlines. A co-pilot tool can make bonusing more transparent, convenient, and rewarding for the customers.
Betbuilders (or Same Game Multis / Parlays) have been the highest growth product for most sportsbooks over the past five years. The customer base is broadly split between using two options:
Pre-built (or pre-canned) Betbuilders where the customer browses a list of options for one that seems appropriately feasible. Or simply has the desired odds. This method means the customer does not have to make too many decisions or navigations and it’s a single click to execute the bet. On the downside, it can be fairly tedious scrolling through options that may not match their preferences.
Self-build is where the customer takes the time to search for the specific selections that they want to combine. The drawback is that the customer is given no inspiration or suggestion, but the upside is they have full control to tailor their bets to their own liking.
A co-pilot tool provides the best of both worlds, guiding the customer through the process, and providing researched rationale for making selections while allowing them to have full control.
The first sportsbooks to implement this are going to significantly improve the UX of the most profitable and competitive part of their product.
Ease of use, speed to make decisions, and build combinations with a limited number of clicks will result in a few important benefits
- Better market share of this lucrative customer segment
- More existing customers choosing to play this high-margin product
- Longer combinations are selected, driving even higher margin
We regularly hear that a big part of operators like FanDuel’s success is attributed to a superior Betbuilder (or SGP) product. It’s not hard to imagine that the first mover to get this right could see +20% GGR uplift.
Sportsbook UX has been stagnant for a while and needs a shake-up. The shifts from retail to online and desktop to mobile were driven by external technology trends. Introducing co-pilots and generative AI may seem like a minor change at first, but this is just the beginning for those who are willing to push creative boundaries.