Bettors may recognize theScore’s sports journalism. But on Sept. 2, they launched their sportsbook, theScore Bet. Colorado is their second market after New Jersey, so they viewed the Rocky Mountain market favorably. We reached out to theScore’s VP of Marketing and Content, Aubrey Levy, to get his take on becoming Colorado’s newest sportsbook.
Why Colorado Was theScore Bet’s Second State
theScore Bet launched in New Jersey less than a year before the Colorado launch. What made Colorado such a great launchpad for theScore Bet’s expansion? “Colorado is clearly a great sports state,” said VP of Marketing and Content, Aubrey Levy. “You guys have a representation of every major league. Betting activity so far in the state has proven to be pretty strong–particularly in mobile.”
The mobile element is particularly important for theScore. Its online sports writing complements mobile sports betting. Even before their Colorado entry, theScore Bet was seeing early success. “We’re seeing [incredible] growth even into July,” said Levy. “The handle is up 55% in June. [We have] a pretty active sports base and we have a pretty active user base there. So, we have a large strong media user base that’s our primary marketing focus. And as I said great partners on the ground in Colorado. So that confluence of elements together makes Colorado a great second state for us.”
How theScore And theScore Bet Work Together
Regular readers of theScore’s content are in luck. Users will see theScore’s content adapt to its sister sportsbook. “The two platforms are construed and intended to play off each other,” Levy said. “Our value proposition is this holistic ecosystem of media and betting where our users should be able to go seamlessly back and forth between our media app and our betting app in as quick and efficient manner as possible–and better than anywhere on the market. You already see that we have an increased concentration around betting information and betting content.”
Bettors can find articles about theScore Bet and a few sports betting basics on theScore to get them started. It may be worth reviewing theScore to find new sports betting information before diving into their new sportsbook.
How theScore Stacks Up Against Fox Bet
There’s one other Colorado sportsbook with an integrated media strategy. Fox Bet has Fox Sports commentators discuss different odds and bets. Three TV personalities on a massive sports channel is a formidable media competitor. How is theScore going to compete with that?
“Everybody is finding a media dancing partner,” said Levy. “which to some degree–no to a big degree–is a testament of the fundamental strategy. I think if by being the only operator that has both of those experiences owned and operated within their same household, there’s a lot that we can do to understand how you want to bet, when you want to bet, [and] what kind of markets you’re interested in.”
Fox Bet’s media commentary only comes on during a Fox Sports segment. Since the hosts are reacting to odds and bets in real-time, they can’t respond directly to bettors. The social media team can engage fans on Twitter, but that only happens after the show. In contrast, theScore and theScore Bet can respond to bettors in real-time. Their online content also makes it easier to find and reference if an article has particularly juicy information.
“From a user behavior perspective, knowing when to put messaging in front of a user, what messaging resonates,” Levy said. “When to get out of a user’s way, right? Like being product-led with it versus, call it marketing-led, I think you have the ability to offer [a] sophisticated and deeper experience that today we’re the only ones at market who can provide.”
How theScore Bet Will Serve Its Bettors
Some sportsbooks decide to carve their niche out in the market. For example, BetMonarch’s goal is to specialize in baseball moneylines. But theScore Bet wants to approach the market differently.
“Our job is to first and foremost service the betting needs of Score users,” said Levy. “And the betting needs of Score users are as wide as they are deep. So, it’s to understand what that demand is across whatever leagues we are able to offer, whatever markets we are able to offer, and then satiate and satisfy Score users. That’s our focus. It’s not to go in and take a self-ascribed position in any one particular market or sport.”
theScore Bet’s Unique Welcome Bonus
theScore Bet will offer a dual bonus. The first bonus is a $100 free bet. Once bettors place their first bet–no matter the size–they’ll get a free $100 bet. That’s generous already.
However, the cashback bonus is even better. “If you bet over the first 60 days,” said Levy, “you’ll unlock 5% on each bet–win, lose, or draw–over the first two months of your experience up to $1,000 bucks. So it’s intended to provide the ability for a wide range of bettors, a wide range of betting appetites, to be able to find value out of it and to basically try to give them a bit of a friendlier and cleaner experience to play with bonus.”
This is a great bonus because it rewards players the same amount based on how much they wager. Bettors don’t have to put $500 upfront to get the full value of a risk-free bet. This bonus also rewards betting rather than depositing, which seems more likely to drive betting activity. This pioneering move will change the landscape of bonuses in Colorado. It’ll be interesting to see whether other sportsbooks follow theScore Bet’s lead.
How theScore Bet Will Adapt To Cancelled Sports
2020 has been tumultuous for every league. The status of college sports changes by the day and professional sports still struggle against the coronavirus. The initial social distancing measures in March canceled professional and college sports in one broad sweep of closures. How will theScore Bet handle another round of closures this fall?
“I think the simple answer is we’ll adapt like we had to adapt back in March,” Levy said. “I’ll talk to what we did as a kind of a proxy of what we would do. We made sure that our media app users stayed engaged. We spun up a ton of interesting and original content, and we were able to hold onto about 75% of our media app user base in a period with no sports on whatsoever.”
That’s an impressive feat for a sports platform with no sports to write about. But Levy is optimistic about sports returning this fall, anyway. “[The leagues] have all done a pretty good job navigating through since they’ve come back and they’ve each been dealt their own specific set of challenges and circumstances,” said Levy. “So, I’m pretty optimistic NFL is gonna go. Is it going to be without challenges? No. Are there going to be hiccups? Probably. I think there’s pretty pretty strong desire to get the season to make the season happen.”
For Levy and theScore, flexibility is the key to navigating 2020’s uncertainty. “I think our flexibility and our ability to adapt very quickly to the needs of our users is quite possibly one of our biggest selling points,” said Levy.
Between theScore’s content and theScore Bet’s sportsbook, Levy seems confident that theScore will become a force of nature in Colorado’s competitive market.
theScore Bet’s Esports Opportunity
One of the pandemic’s sports quirks has been elevating esports to a new level of popularity. Since matches can be played remotely, fans, players, and bettors can all watch uninterrupted matches from home without fear of catching the coronavirus. “[In] esports, we actually are now one of the largest sports media companies,” said Levy. Since esports is such a large part of their coverage, how is theScore going to convert readers to theScore Bet bettors?
“I want to have the largest esports media platform,” said Levy. “And when the time is right [we want] to drive our esports audience into our esports betting markets regardless of what the game is.”
Sportsbook users can expect plenty of esports content on theScore. Some of it may even help them make decisions on theScore’s sportsbook. Although theScore Bet isn’t specializing in any league, it may become one of the best sportsbooks for esports betting. The confluence of its esports content and its sportsbook could make esports betting more approachable to more bettors. No other sportsbook has a hold on esports, so theScore Bet could become the best esports sportsbook before any other players stake a claim to it.
But don’t expect esports to be more important in theScore Bet. They’re going to try to cater to as many of their users as possible, whether they’re esports fans or mainstream sports fans.
theScore Bet’s Goals For The Future
theScore looks headed towards a bright future in Colorado. However, it has ambitions beyond the Centennial State.
“We have Colorado and then we’re going to be rolling out in Indiana shortly,” said Levy. “And the name of the game to be one of the leading sportsbooks across North America. We think that our approach to the market and our differentiated value proposition of the holistic ecosystem of media and betting combined, plus our incredibly large and engaged media user base give us a differentiated suite of assets.”
Their combination of online sports writing and new sportsbook makes theScore a unique Colorado entrant. However, their sports betting content will determine how unique they are. It’s one thing to get a few opinions about certain bets. However, the more journalistic theScore’s sports betting content is, the more it’ll stand out from Fox Bet. But as theScore Bet continues expanding, Aubrey Levy leaves us with his vision for theScore’s future.
“I fully expect over the coming years that you’re going to see us continue to expand our footprint across the U.S. Hopefully, even to Canada as Canada further legislates and regulates sports betting. And that you’re going to see us do the same thing in sports betting that you’re seeing us do in the world of sports: being a top-tier market-leading player with a product that stands a cut above the rest.”