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The Cost-Per-Acquisition Conundrum in Sports Betting

The US sports betting industry is growing exponentially. Twenty states currently offer mobile sports betting and that number will continue to grow. In this nascent market, player acquisition has been the top priority — but at what cost? Acquisition strategies have incorporated large sign-up bonuses which are prone to bonus abuse. Operators are placing their own bets that attracting new players now will jump-start lifetime player value and build brand loyalty — but at what price? Marketers at every operator, big and small, have asked themselves: How do I approach this cost-per-acquisition conundrum while balancing short-term gains with long-term growth?

Efficient player acquisition

Acquiring high lifetime-value players who remain loyal is a primary goal for all operators. TransUnion’s data, knowledge and more than 10 years of gaming experience helps operators maximize ROI by achieving a central goal: attract and retain new players with increased efficiency.

TransUnion offers operators a variety of ways to drive more value and efficiency from their marketing spend. This includes ensuring player acquisition efforts are continually targeting the right audiences —on media channels that won’t break the budget.

TransUnion has decades of experience managing and analyzing sensitive information, ultimately enabling a more robust picture of consumers and identity. As a marketing partner, we help operators acquire, onboard and better understand their players — from occasional or everyday players to the VIP whales. 

TransUnion’s audience creation capabilities deliver segments based on selected consumer attributes, such as age, interests and hobbies, income and geographic area. (such as 21- to 30-year-old men interested in basketball and gambling who live in the state of New Jersey with household incomes ranging $50,000 to $125,000.) Upfront segmentation and analytics facilitate player acquisition instead of waiting for an analytical data layer down the line.

Another marketing challenge endemic to the sports betting community is targeting existing players with new sign-up promotions. TransUnion can assist in ensuring retention versus acquisition campaigns are run completely independent of one another. Using solid data, acquisition efforts are more efficient and effective.

Segmentation of existing customers and first-party data collection

Every sportsbook and casino has a core player — and that core player can look different for every brand. While operators have the required personal information about players from registration, combining that data with TransUnion’s can provide a more well-rounded view

TransUnion’s cross-verified consumer database can help brands understand their own base. Operators will have the names, dates of birth, postal addresses and email addresses of their existing customers. In addition, TransUnion can supply other data attributes including household income, home ownership, education, sports interests, household size and more. Understanding the attributes of your top players can then inform other marketing and retention efforts. 

Unified Analytics for measurement

TransUnion’s 2021 acquisition of Neustar added best-in-class marketing analytics capabilities , allowing operators to better track their media spend and ROI. Whether an operator is invested across all media channels, including heavy TV and sponsorship investments or only focused on a few online channels, solid analytics help operators plan, track and optimize marketing campaigns across all channels. Our Marketing Mix Modeling and Multi-Touch Attribution solutions married with our extensive consumer data, enables operators to see who, how and where they’re acquiring players — ultimately increasing ROI by lowering the cost per acquisition.

Smart acquisition is the key

In the online sports betting world, the largest brands dominate the advertising landscape with nine- figure marketing budgets. Separately, challenger operators are looking to gain market share with six-figure marketing budgets. Regardless of budget, efficiencies in player acquisition and retention are crucial for the long-term success of every operator.

While operators need to be aggressive with their acquisition efforts, the bottom line for any brand ultimately revolves around being smart about acquisition efforts. Effective data and measurement enables precision targeting, improved customer retention and increased return on investment. Add in a great player experience and that puts operators well ahead of the game.

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