Chalkline Sports: now is the time to strategize for NFL and NCAA football betting success

Chalkline Sports hosted the latest in its Operators Edge series of webinars recently, focusing on the forthcoming NFL and NCAA football seasons and the measures casino operators can take now to maximize returns from the most watched and wagered sport in the US.

The webinar, featuring Chalkline Co-founder Joe Kustelski, broke down the approach into three main segments: Build your bettor database; Use football to build your loyalty program; and Drive more retail visits during the Fall season.

Said Kustelski: “Football presents the most active sports betting opportunity. There’s more interest in football from a betting standpoint than any other sport. Whether you have regulated sports betting in your state or not it’s important to keep that in mind as you think about the type of people that you want to track and attract to your casino or retail experience.

“Obviously football draws the biggest crowds, the biggest crowds per game. It drives the most betting. Football betting is growing in several directions. Specifically we talked about player props and what an important role they’re taking in the growth of football betting.”

He added: “When we think specifically about casinos – if you’re sitting inside a casino your loyalty database means that you already know many of the sports bettors in your state. I always love this stat – 65% of casino patrons bet on sports. From a data standpoint there’s a real compelling case to get ready for football season.”

On mapping out a digital activation plan, Kustelski urged viewers to start work now. “When we think about this – when we think about football and what it means, already ESPN are starting to promote their Labor Day weekend. It marks the end of the summer and the beginning of football.” 

He continued: “We did hear from a couple of our past webinar participants that we didn’t have the LSU game on here. I love the fact that there’s such passion around it and that people were calling us out before the webinar started, because we didn’t have their team’s game on the football schedule. 

“But it begs the question; if you have fans from any of these teams – how are you going to use that to build your loyalty database at your property?”

Kustelski added that the same approach applies to the NFL. “I live in Nashville Tennessee. The number one topic – the only topic on sports HeartRadio is why the Titans are not getting enough respect. Already people are making a case. They’re already figuring out whether they’re going to watch week one. 

“And that’s really, really important for you to think about if you’re a casino with sports bars in one of the areas where you’ve got local fans of any team whether it’s pro or college. What we’re trying to do here is to just lock in attention around the event lifecycle.

“So when you map out your digital plan – what’s involved and what course – it starts with strategy. What are we trying to accomplish? Move over to the other side, what are the numbers we’re trying to drive from an analytics standpoint? And in between it’s building up your content and communications calendar really with an eye towards week one.

“Week one most properties have watch parties, they have high levels of engagement. It’s a great signal for the rest of the football season. We use a mix of free play games, smart email, SMS and in-app messaging. Everything we’re doing is designed to feed the loyalty database.”

On mapping out retail activation, Kustelski noted: “You may have a sports bar on property, you may have TVs strategically located throughout your property. And so the question is how are you going to turn all the eyeballs into data capture opportunities for retail operators?

We’ve got a number of retail activations that we use. Text back campaigns, publicly displayed leader boards for super contests, games that run each week that have weekly and season-long prizes to keep people engaged this week and over the course of a season. 

Leader boards are a powerful social tool. They’re pretty easy to roll out around free play games or activity. We localize a lot of games, we coordinate promotions around big betting events like week one kick off. And then we have a number of other tools.

To check out the webinar in full, click here.