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What’s Your Post-World Cup Retention Marketing Plan for New Online Bettors?

The World Cup is winding down. Here's what you need to know – everything from predictions to hypotheses – about the new players you've just engaged with. We're taking you one year forward post-World Cup. On your mark, get set, go!

We all know that history tends to repeat itself. We’ve seen it happen. It occurs across all sectors, from economic crises to global pandemics and mass extinctions. 

So, let’s take what we know about past international sporting mega-events and apply it to the World Cup. We’ll use data from Euro 2020 to make predictions about newly acquired World Cup players and how they are expected to behave one year after the tournament.  

Similarities between The Euros and The World Cup 

The Euros occur every four years, as does the World Cup. Both are considered the most prestigious soccer competitions and are truly monumental global gatherings. 

These mega-events are also known to create enormous hype in the online gaming space, where sports bettors across the globe plan some of their biggest betting opportunities during the tournaments. Players are well-invested during this time and easily engaged. 

With all these similarities in mind, let’s look at some of the most exciting gaming patterns and betting trends post-Euro 2020 to predict how your new online bettors will behave one-year post-World Cup. 

The data 

Postponed in 2020 due to concerns related to COVID, the Euro championship took place between June 11th and July 11th, 2021. We looked at player data from the year after the Euros.  

Here’s what we found. 

The average distribution of Euro bettors 

Around 75% of existing players made their first deposit more than one month before the Euros kicked off. Another 6% deposited a month or less before the Euros began, and the remaining 18% deposited during the month of the Euros. 

New World Cup players are more likely to churn 

We compared two groups of players from several online gaming/sports betting brands. 

All first-time depositors in the database versus first-time depositors who joined and started playing during the month of the Euros.  

We checked how many from each group stayed active and continued to deposit and bet two, three, four, five, and six months after their first deposit. 

Data shows that players who came in for the Euros had particularly lower retention rates than those who joined the platform, regardless of the tournament.  

For example, in one of our top brands, two and three months after their initial deposit, the difference in retention rates between the two groups is 8%. 

More specifically, 25% of players who came in for the Euros remained active two months after the tournament, compared to 33% of all first-time depositors. 

When looking at six months post-Euros – though the difference in retention rate decreased, just 18% of newly acquired players remained active after six months versus 23% of all players. That’s a difference of 5% in activity rate. 

So, it should be clear by now that newly acquired players are more likely to churn shortly after the tournament.  

Take a look at December 7th and 8th in the graph below, which were both days off in Qatar. They immediately translated into a global plummet in the number of bettors and total bet amount. 

They’re also less valuable in the long run 

We took the analysis one step further and compared the behavior of players who deposited for the first time one month or more prior to the Euros and placed at least one bet during the tournament (existing players) to those who made their first deposit and placed at least one bet during the month of the Euros (newbies). 

We wanted to see how the players in each group behaved throughout the following year after the tournament. In other words, we analyzed their player activity and betting trends a whole year after the Euros, between 2021 and 2022.  

For the analysis, we only checked those who remained active during the following year. Active in this analysis refers to players who placed at least one or more sports bets throughout the entire year. 

Findings show that existing players’ average sports betting amount was three times (3X) higher the year after the tournament than for newbies. The average number of sports bets was also three times (3X) higher for existing players.  

So, how do you retain your newly acquired players post-World Cup? How do you create loyalty among them? 

First, you want to nurture these new relationships by putting your newly acquired online bettors first.  

You have a huge and exciting opportunity to make the most of these players by providing them with unique and personalized treatment – the kind that’ll make them return to your brand throughout the entire year – and beyond. 

Since keeping these players around can be particularly hard, use these three quick retention tips and tricks to beat the odds. Also, consider these expert tips to learn what makes new players tick and how they remain active longer than expected. 

The bottom line  

  1. First-time depositors who join a gaming operator for mega-events usually don’t remain active as long as those who join your brand, regardless of the tournament. 
  1. Newly acquired players from the tournament who remain active are considered less loyal customers in the long run. 

Ready to scale your post-World Cup marketing campaigns? Request a demo today! 

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Dafna Sheinberg

Dafna is a creative marketing content writer and editor who produces strategic content for various online industries. With over ten years of professional writing experience, she helps brands grow and increase profitability, efficiency, and online presence. Dafna holds a B.A. in Persuasive Communications from Reichman University (IDC Herzliya).

Roni Sfadya

Roni is a Marketing Research Analyst serving on Optimove's Professional Services team. As the Marketing Research Analyst, Roni specializes in gathering actionable marketing insights through research and analysis of customer data for retail and gaming clients. Roni holds a dual degree in Psychology and Business from Reichman University (IDC Herzliya).