GROWTH

Pushing the boundaries with technology

Taking gaming deeper into the connected future:
Global alliance with Verizon Media

2020 showed us all too clearly that our world is becoming ever more closely interlinked with the digital world, whether to connect, inform or entertain us. While we might sometimes complain of video call fatigue, the unique circumstances of the pandemic have brought home how much our real-world experiences can be enhanced or supplemented by virtual ones.


True to our commitment to innovation, we want to pioneer ways to take our industry deeper into this connected future and be the first to offer our customers exciting new interactive experiences. That’s why we’ve formed an alliance with Verizon Media, a division of Verizon Communications Inc and the business behind brands including Yahoo, AOL, TechCrunch and Engadget, to lead the way in developing new opportunities across interactive sports and entertainment.

 

Social media has become central to consumer enjoyment, with new immersive experiences, driven by virtual reality (VR) and 5G, accelerating growth of both gaming and e-sports. Gaming and entertainment are converging across multiple devices and becoming increasingly interactive, with two-thirds of consumers combining it with social media to increase their enjoyment.


It’s a phenomenon strongly associated with but not limited to one demographic. Yes, across all markets, men aged 25 to 39 are the most likely to be innovators or early adopters and are the key audience for e-sports and gaming. Half of e-sports players are in this age group, with most also interacting in social media and more than half enjoying a bet. When it comes to conventional sport, interaction is also increasingly important to this audience, with 31% of 25 to 39-year-old also engaging digitally to increase their enjoyment of watching sport. That last behaviour also applies to older groups, however, with 34% of over 55s doing the same.

 

The first project we’re focused on to satisfy this growing demand for rich new experiences is to create a first-of-its-kind highly immersive proof of concept virtual reality experience, that will combine live sports viewing with interactive layers of sports data and gaming. Customers will be able to participate in sports events, check data, socialise with friends, and place bets on Entain platforms.

 

As partners, we and Verizon Media will be able to go beyond this to develop more concepts for new formats with emerging technologies like 5G, virtual reality, and augmented reality to bring the best experiences in immersive content and gaming to sports betting and gambling. We at Entain bring our industry knowledge, extensive customer base and full integrated proprietary tech platform while Verizon brings world-first 5G-enabled production studios in LA and London, creative technology teams and its Immersive platform, that enables extended reality (XR) content to be created and distributed across digital channels at scale.

 

Along with betting on the Entain platforms on live streaming sports events, the goal is to create realistic, immersive experiences for sports fans, such as being in the stadium, participating in play, competing and betting on outcomes on the Entain platforms. We envisage consumers meeting at a game with friends, who could in fact be elsewhere, using virtual reality headsets to watch, interact and share the experience together and, potentially, compete between themselves at half time or feel like they’re on the pitch with the players.

 

The first project we’re focused on to satisfy this growing demand for rich new experiences is to create a first-of-its-kind highly immersive proof of concept VR experience, that will combine live sports viewing with interactive layers of sports data and gaming. Customers will be able to participate in sports events, check data, socialise with friends, and place bets on Entain platforms.

 

Together, we and Verizon Media will be able to go beyond this to develop more concepts for new formats with emerging technologies like 5G, VR, and augmented reality to bring the best experiences in immersive content and gaming to sports betting and gaming.  At Entain we bring our industry knowledge, extensive customer base and full integrated proprietary tech platform while Verizon Media brings world-first 5G-enabled production studios in LA and London, creative technology teams and its Immersive platform, that enables extended reality (XR) content to be created and distributed across digital channels at scale. 

 

Along with betting on the Entain platforms on live streaming sports events, the goal is to create realistic, immersive experiences for sports fans, such as being in the stadium, participating in play, competing and betting on outcomes. For example, our customers could meet virtually with friends within a sports-themed environment, using VR headsets to not only watch gameplay but also engage with each other around it, by discussing bets or competing in similar gameplay amongst themselves, or even watching from the perspective of the professional players. 

As a customer-focused business, Entain innovates to give our customers what they want from digital entertainment. Increasingly, we know consumers are looking for more multi-dimensional experiences, in which the ability to place a bet is only one of the ways they are enjoying themselves. As technology evolves and 5G becomes more available the only limits are our imagination.

Sandeep Tiku
SANDEEP TIKU, COO