Search the website

Your Sports Bettor’s National Team Is Out of the World Cup. Now What?

All eyes are on Qatar as the World Cup gets going. So many languages, countries, and cultures have come together – but how do you keep your online sports bettors engaged from home when their national team is eliminated or even never made it to the finals of the tournament in the first place? Shh… we’ve got all the secrets here

Posted in

Legendary Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly famously said, “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” And for many supporters, that seems to be the case. So, it makes sense and is quite intuitive to assume that sports bettors worldwide will support their own country and bet on their own team at higher rates during the World Cup.  

Well actually, this phenomenon is perhaps stronger with some nationalities than others. According to historical Optimove data, Italian bettors tend not to bet on any other team except their own.  

But who do they bet on when their country is eliminated from the competition? And what about all those whose own country never qualified for the finals in the first place?  Who are they betting on?  

It would be best to analyze past betting behavior to gain insight into favored teams among online bettors from different countries. 

Implement alternative betting strategies 

The probability of a bettor placing a bet on a match that their own national team plays in is 40% higher than an average match played during the group stage. However, you can pick up on other trends and play with them in your marketing plan. 

For instance, Belgians like to bet on England. They placed 23% of bets on England’s national team during the 2018 World Cup. 

You can also look at geographical elements and how culture has an intrinsic role here. For instance, Spanish and Portuguese bettors like to place bets on each other when it comes to their betting trends. 

Build a marketing plan  

For the first two weeks of the World Cup, you may want to anchor your entire marketing plan around your sports bettors’ national teams, as all the teams will play throughout the entire group stage. 

After the group stages, run different campaigns for different segments of bettors based on each country playing in the group stages on a given day. So, if France is playing, create a campaign for French bettors but also one for bettors who bet on France, but aren’t from France. An excellent way to visualize it is in calendar format where you have the different countries playing and the segments you create. 

What about countries whose teams are not in the competition? We’ve got insights for you on that too! 

While Greece didn’t qualify for the World Cup, Greek bettors are definitely “all in” the competition. They lead all nations with a huge spike in First Time Depositors (FTD), also known as New Players. 

Now, let’s take a look at two main approaches to take when a national team has been knocked out of the tournament, either after the group stage or during the knockout stages: 

  1. Substitute/adoptive team  

Also known as the bandwagon approach, it comprises of bettors who aren’t 100% loyal (tribal) – but rather shift their loyalty. 

Once their team is out of the competition, bettors are happy to choose another team to follow, perhaps from a neighboring country or one from the same region. They may go for one where there is a large immigrant population or just one of the favorites. For example, Turkish bettors like to bet on Germany if Turkey is no longer present, as there is a strong presence of Turkish people living in Germany. It just so happens that Germany is also one of the favorites. 

This approach also considers natural affinity. Though it’s less data-backed – try to create interest in a team by offering promotions on its matches. A sweepstakes promotion, in this case, is classic. For instance, send a campaign that says something along the lines of, “Hey, Sorry to see your team was knocked out of the competition, but you can still turn the World Cup into a “personal victory”. Who do you think will take the championship?” 

  1. Sponsored games/festival atmosphere 

Optimove created a game ranking based on the teams’ initial seeding when the groups were drawn based on FIFA rankings. So, mark the big games and promote them.   

Every group stage has a team from groups 1,2,3, and 4 – which means the best teams aren’t playing each other until the knockout stages, but there are still some exciting games and, as things turn out, some big surprises. Who would have bet on Saudi Arabia beating Argentina or Japan beating Germany? 

Pick out exciting matches and look for potential “Cinderella” stories. Everyone loves an underdog! You can also adopt your strategy as teams emerge and become more interesting during the competition. Remember that star players and their teams could also prove attractive. Here are some of our picks: 

Finally, if their team has been knocked out – use gamification marketing in your promotions to keep bettors invested and engaged in the finals. Leaderboards, Bet and Get offers like, “Bet on multiple games now, get a free bet on the final,” are known to keep your bettors emotionally invested even if their team has been eliminated. 

Happy World Cup! May the football be truly great and may the best team win… 

Published on
Posted in

Dafna Sheinberg

Dafna is a creative marketing content writer and editor who produces strategic content for various online industries. With 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).