Global media and technology company Verizon Media is linking up with gambling operator Entain Plc (formerly GVC Holdings) to create new interactive sports opportunities. The two companies will work together to create an innovative and immersive proof of concept for a virtual reality experience that combines interactive sports data with the live sports viewing experience. For example, people could watch a sporting event, look at data, place bets through Entain sites, and socialize with their friends and family.
Verizon and Entain will also look to leverage emerging technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and 5G to enhance their engagement with gambling and sports betting. An immersive and realistic experience for sports fans is the goal so people feel like they are actually sitting in the stadium.
Immersive viewing experience
Speaking about the collaboration, Entain CEO Shay Segev said: “To win in the future we need to understand where consumers will be in five, ten years’ time and work with other global businesses also investing in that.”
able to interact with one another and share the experience
He went on to explain how they envision people meeting friends at games virtually, being able to interact with one another and share the experience. There could even be the possibility of competing against each another during the half-time break or be on the field with the competitors.
Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan spoke about building the next generation of gaming and sports content experiences through this partnership.
Verizon Media-owned Yahoo Sports and BetMGM already have a relationship in the United States in which BetMGM odds are integrated into the sports media app, with users able to place bets directly through the Yahoo Sports app if they are in a state with legal sports betting.
Consumption of sporting events
The partnership’s announcement comes soon after YouGov issued its findings from research that Entain commissioned. These findings show how entertainment and gaming are converging over different devices and leading to a more immersive experience. About two-thirds of all consumers leverage social media to enhance their experience.
For traditional sports, 31% of people between 25 and 39-years-old engage digitally while viewing sport. For gaming and esports, men in the same age group are the most likely to be early adopters of emerging technology.