Stephen Crispe: Racing & Sports to disrupt sleepy make-up of Euro horseracing markets
Racing And Sports (RAS), the Australian-founded provider of premium data and enhanced content, has been making headlines this year with its expansion into the northern hemisphere.
Following deals with Sky Racing World and XB Net, and the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, Chief executive Stephen Crispe talks to SBC News about Racing And Sports’ rapid entry into the European and American markets.
Question: Racing And Sports has been around for a while now, how has it developed?
Stephen Crispe: Racing and Sports saw an opportunity in the late 1990’s to launch a premium B2C digital platform focused on Racing and Sports content and data. This very quickly became an authoritative source of information that found a natural B2B market that grew along with the needs and demands of corporate bookmakers seeking more enhanced and analytics backed products to offer to their customers on their wagering platforms.
Racing and Sports has invested considerably over the years in compiling the most comprehensive racing database and supporting processing frameworks to capture and develop enhanced products for global racing.
Fast forward to 2022 and Racing and Sports provides premium content, data, analytics and SaaS services to wagering operators all around the world.
Question: And what’s the thinking behind expanding more globally?
SC: With the extensive amount of data, technology and IP created in the business it is the logical next step to ramp up the global expansion to provide services to existing and mature wagering markets, such as the UK and Europe, as well as emerging markets such as the US and Asia. This is where Racing and Sports plays to its strengths by developing highly regionalised products that appeal to each local jurisdiction through customisations and conversion that are readily available and understandable to the local audience.
Question: What are your plans for UK, Europe generally and North America?
SC: Racing and Sports will continue to develop enhanced content products for the UK, European and International markets for B2B customers, as well as the continued expansion of our market-leading trading and pricing manager solutions that assist wagering operators in streamlining their business.
We also intend on expanding coverage of the Racing and Sports digital assets into the UK/Europe and US and LatAm markets with innovative features and content that is aimed directly at the B2C audience.
Question: What does RAS offer that others don’t – do you think RAS has a key selling point to make it stand out?
SC: Racing and Sports is widely regarding as having the most comprehensive database in the world for racing and from that, the most advanced content and data products for B2B operators.
It’s trading and pricing manager SaaS product is recognised as being one of the most advanced products available to streamline wagering operators back-office functions while providing efficiency and insights into the market which have been previously unavailable.
It is a unique business with service lines covering all parts of the wagering industry, also with the movement into the sports data arena with some very exciting B2B products using the Racing and Sports predictive modelling and processing.
Question: Horseracing is obviously at the heart of what you do, but are you looking at other sports?
SC: Racing and Sports has commenced the collection and analysis of sports data in the same way we have built our leading Racing database, this is nearing completion and we will produce innovative and exciting sports products for B2B wagering operators to consume and offer to their customers.
This is a growth pillar of Racing and Sports business and will continue to see development and innovation as we seek to disrupt the existing platers in this space by doing what we have done so well for the past 20 years.
Question: Switching back to Australia, what are the current trends in horseracing there and what can the big European markets, like the UK, learn from how the sport is run and promoted down under?
SC: The Australian racing market is arguably the most mature of any on the planet. It has seen many twists and changes over the years to the product that is offered today to punters. Currently, we see a trend from younger audiences who are looking to participate, however, the way in which younger demographics consume content, especially racing content, has changed. To be relevant we must meet the expectations of this new younger audience and as such are producing a new range of data, technology and digital products that will be aimed at precisely this segment of the market.
Attracting more people to the races is clearly on the top of the industry as a whole, now with the restraints of Covid largely behind us we see the racecourses needing to offer a premium experience to customers enticing them back to the track. This comes in the form of entertainment before, in-between, and after racing events, combined with an almost carnival-like atmosphere to cater for all patrons.
Question: Clearly, the northern hemisphere is important, but why was it important to come halfway round the world to attend Betting On Sport Europe?
SC: We find that industry conferences are a terrific way to represent the business in this part of the world, especially where you can engage with like-minded people, existing customers, and potential new customers to deep dive into what Racing and Sports can offer them. It is more important now in the post-covid era to be present and drive the business with the local team, headed up by Brent Dolan who is a well respected industry veteran, to show the market we are here, and here to stay…