By Shmulik Segal, Co-Founder & CEO of MediaTroopers
Running a business related to sports is very similar to running a team in the major leagues. During the season, the focus is on the tactics and strategies that can be implemented. Then, when it comes to the off season, it is time to refocus and regroup in order to come up with new developments, build a stronger team, and create new ideas for another successful season.
As the NFL, NBA and college sports teams take their summer break, sports affiliates often slow down their activities. However, there’s still a lot that affiliates can do despite how challenging it can be to maintain that essential audience engagement—especially with all the new states that plan to legalize gambling.
New markets, however, also present a huge and exciting challenge for affiliates, calling for ultimate agility and diversity to guarantee continued energy from audiences to marketspaces. After all, unlike operators with constant revenues from external verticals like casino or poker, some affiliates don’t have a “Plan B” income to fall back on.
However, the good news is that many affiliates have less fixed costs than operators (such as sportsbooks or casinos). So, although the off-season can be sluggish, it’s an awesome opportunity to optimize your business and evolve. Here are several top tips that you can take advantage of that’ll keep that competitive streak.
1. Research Your Audience
Firstly, paying attention to audience demographics, spotting trends, and analyzing spending habits is a great way of tracking where your audience is during the off-season. In designating time to analyze the customer journey of your audience, you can anchor their attention, gauge where their interests are, and tailor your content to help grab their curiosity.
2. Find New Sources of Revenue
Remember, slow seasons are the perfect time to test the water on new products and ideas. In fact, it’s the ideal opportunity to develop your creativity. If you’ve considered exploring new markets, then now is the time. There’s a world of unexplored territory you could virtually conquer and reap the benefits of.
3. Explore New Verticals
Online casinos are currently only legal in West Virginia, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Since gambling laws are constantly changing, the market is only going to expand. Plus, you have the likes of bingo, lottery, poker, and various types of racing to hone in on. By discovering new markets, it can assist in healthy company growth and result in a larger revenue stream.
4. Test Out New Technology
In line with “find new revenue” is seizing this lull as an opportunity to trial run and/or develop new technology and get familiar with how to use and implement it into your campaigns. You could even test out new software and reporting systems of your own. Alternatively, why not invest and try out off-the-shelf solutions?
5. Invest in your Team
Now is the time to take stock of your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Is something missing? Is it time to expand departments? What is working really well? Having the answers to these questions allows the existing team to develop their skillsets and problem solve areas that need improvement. Further, it allows the company to recognize any gaps that need to be filled.
6. Prepare For The Next Off-Season
Consider revenue share licenses for affiliates, which are only available in select states. As we all know, regulatory authorities that oversee online gambling in several US states enact two different licensing models for affiliates; CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) and revenue share. The latter allowing affiliates to have a mutual liability with their customers. It can also help showcase your dedication to operating safely and forming enduring partnerships with operators.
Investing the time and energy during the off season will set you apart from your competition. It is the perfect time to reflect on the company’s results from the season and see what worked. Using these insights, the company can expand its market and look towards new verticals and additional sources of revenue in order to optimize its results in the down period, as well as for the upcoming season.