YouGov study shows impact of offers and reminders on bettor engagement

The effectiveness of gambling advertising was put to the test by YouGov this week, as the data analytics firm published the results of an investigation into Champions League betting experiences. 

Results from the study, conducted before and after the 2022 UEFA Champions League Final, found that offers and reminders ‘influenced the majority of bettors’, with 54% stating that these promotions ‘helped remind me to place a bet’.

In particular, YouGov – which used monthly sports bettors as a sample – found a significant increase in bettor engagement when offers were directly distributed in the days closer to the match. 

Of punters who ‘bet more on the match than anticipated’, 56% responded that offers sent directly to them by operators incited them to bet, followed by ads on TV and online (15% each), ads on social media (13%) and ads in high-street bookie windows and newspaper ads (7% each).

Additionally, among customers who bet on the final but didn’t intend to, 15% cited direct offers, followed by TV advertising (11%), social media ads (9%) and ads online (8%), with bookmaker window and newspaper marketing again closing the list at 6% respectively.

Of this group, 65% of bettors who punted on the UCL Final but didn’t intend to – three out of five of these customers – cited promotions as the main reason for their wagering.

Meanwhile, 64% stated that their late decision was due to ‘holding out’ – waiting to see if companies they maintained accounts with would offer a free bet or special offer on the match. 

Of the operators, bet365 was the punters number one choice according to YouGov’s research, having been the ‘final brand choice’ among surveyed customers across all bet spends.

“Our pre-study research showed that bet365 was the preferred brand choice ahead of UCL Final. 42% of monthly sports bettors in the UK expected to place a bet with them,” YouGov explained.

“Even more, ended up doing so and Bet365 enjoyed the highest levels of bets placed for UCL Final among monthly sports bettors in the UK (50%). Sky Bet is a distant second (26%) followed by William Hill (11%), Betfair (10%), Paddy Power (10%), and Ladbrokes (8%).

“The increase in bettors who had not expected to place a bet with Bet365 was mainly drivenby low-value bets.”

Lastly, the survey also noted that betting is seen by a large number of punters primarily as a means to better engage with a sporting event by having a stake in its outcome – 57% stated that this was the case.

This could be especially true of events such as the UCL, where many – perhaps even the vast majority – of viewers will not necessarily be supporters of either participating team. 

However, the effectiveness promotional material may be a cause of concern for others, especially given that the White Paper judgement on the 2005 Gambling Act in the UK is apparently due next month. 

Marketing and promotions, as well as the general relationship between football and betting, has been a continuing topic of debate throughout the review.

For example, some reform advocates have called for limitations or bans on promotions such as free bets – a notion which has been heavily criticised by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

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