Infront, the international sports marketing agency, is aiming to establish itself as a major player in the betting market and grow the value of its wider business after launching a dedicated division last year.
The Infront Bettor arm, part of the group's media, betting, and technology unit headed up by Amikam Kranz, was rolled out in September 2022 for betting operators, leveraging its large portfolio of video and data rights within the sports industry.
The service provides access to over 18,000 hours of content per year, from over 30 rightsholders worldwide.
The content includes soccer’s Carabao Cup (England), Coupe de France, Turkish Super Lig, as well as Infront’s portfolio of ice hockey rights, such as the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and the Champions Hockey League (CHL). All of these properties are ones for which Infront holds exclusive marketing rights.
The Wanda-owned agency is hoping to use the new betting division to diversify its business and tap into its experience in the media rights and sponsorship space.
Chris Catling, head of Infront Bettor, told GlobalData Sport: “The media, betting, and technology unit was created to add diversity to the established Infront business. By capitalizing on the synergies between these business activities, significant new revenue streams have been created for the business by actually being part of the value chain.
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“The global betting industry has double-digit growth with significant populous countries regulating and the global opportunity expanding. The ambition for Infront Bettor is to establish itself in this space and grow the value of the overall Infront business.”
Catling continued: “Innovation around content provision and betting services improving the consumer experience is at our core, as well as understanding how broadcasters and technology will blend together over the coming years. As a new player in the market, we are keen to shake up commercial models and challenge the status quo.
“This is something we hope to expand on in the future – hopefully pleasing both rightsholders and betting operators in our service and allowing them to maximize their commercial success. Our first year has laid a really solid foundation to realizing this vision.”
Since launching last year, Infront Bettor claims to have delivered over 950 million views of its streams, reaching bettors in over 25 territories.
Earlier this year, Infront Bettor bolstered its portfolio of bookmakers by partnering with Bet365, Admiral, Bilyoner, Tipsport, Kaizen Gaming (which operates Betano and Stoiximan), Superbet, Napoleon, and Winamax.
Content agreements with all partners include 24/7 “round-the-clock” technical support on the dedicated video platform used to distribute the low latency stream to all clients. The integration of the platform includes a mapping solution for booking, data integration, and broadcasting content.
Catling said: “Given Infront’s standing as a rights agency, building a relevant portfolio across the major betting sports has been a relatively easy task. Great care has been taken to build a portfolio that times well across many time zones, schedules well so that there are minimized scheduling overlaps, and has leagues and competitions that offer really good betting content.
“Capitalising on Infront’s standing in sports like ice hockey has also been a benefit and allowed us to build out some compelling propositions. We are keen to continue developing this portfolio and are listening to our clients and the market for things that are really desired by betting operators and betting consumers.
“Securing some tennis is key, as is broadening the appeal and engagement of our content across the globe (US and Asia), using our advantages across media and betting to secure marquee rights and looking at some more high-volume content.”
Infront is competing in the sports betting and data market with the likes of Stats Perform, IMG Arena, Sportradar, and Genius Sports, with Catling describing the challenge of going up against the established players as “intriguing.”
Catling joined Infront to head up its betting arm in April and has vast senior-level experience in the sports technology industry. He previously held a role in betting rights acquisition at Stats Perform.
He also set up the UK arm of global sports technology business Deltatre and led the over-the-top streaming business of IMG Media.
Catling revealed Infront Bettor is “approaching delivering one billion streams” since it launched in September across its whole client base and believes the company’s approach to data “and the complex world of data rights” will be its next challenge.
Image: James Baylis – AMA/Getty Images