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Offering captivating gameplay, fast wagering and a healthy dose of escapism from the daily hustle of mainstream sports, niche sports betting is becoming an increasingly important part of operators’ line-ups.

With SGG having recently teamed up with the Pro League Network (PLN) to promote this booming industry sector, we sat down with Troy Paul, CEO, SGG Media to discuss how it can provide a welcome alternative to traditional markets and help sportsbooks keep customers engaged through the off-season and beyond.

NEXT: What do you believe it is about niche sports that is attracting conventional sports fans?

TP: Sports fans and sports betting fans alike look for fun escapism, and niche sports do an excellent job providing that. They provide an alternative experience from traditional sports, one that is less emotionally charged and in some cases, more fun.

When it comes to football, baseball, basketball, and just about any other team sport, fans have a huge emotional investment. Games can feel like life and death, especially when bragging rights with your friends are up for grabs.

Niche sports remove this, providing people with something enjoyable and captivating they can enjoy with their friends. Throw in the ability to place a quick wager and win some money, and you’ve got a winning formula.

NEXT: From a customer acquisition perspective, how does PLN attract traditional sports fans, and how will SGG Media help to do this?

TP: Mainstream sports are not available 24/7, and sports fans will always need something to fill those gaps. Off-season can be a long and boring time for sports fans, and niche sports present them with a fresh alternative.

Of course, we don’t just want to attract fans during the off-season, but we are sure that the unique and hugely enjoyable nature of these events keeps people coming back for more.

At SGG, we have over 2,000 sports influencers and content creators posting content and creating a buzz around these events. Many of these sports are perfect for social media, which makes them perfect for what we do at SGG.

NEXT: What does the popularity of niche sports betting tell us about the future of sports betting in the US?

TP: In simple terms, it tells us that there is a demand for people to be able to watch and bet on new sports.

Sports fans will always be excited about something new, especially the sports broadcast by PLN, many of which touch on popular pre-existing games and showcase them in an entirely new and more professional format.

It also highlights how much the option to place quick, small wagers on events can increase engagement and attract viewers.

NEXT: What are some of the biggest challenges of presenting niche and alternative sports to traditional sports fans who may have never heard of them? And how can these be overcome?

TP: Introducing new sports and concepts can be tricky, but thankfully, the sports that PLN broadcasts are ones that many fans will already have some sort of connection with, even if it was never on a serious level.

This is also where our influence at SGG becomes useful. Influencer marketing is an excellent way of bridging this gap. People trust the sports influencers they follow, and their endorsements carry a lot of weight.

Influencers are also able to package these sports in the most interesting way possible, highlighting what makes them so exciting and knowing exactly how to sell them to their audiences.

NEXT: What benefits do you believe there are for an operator hosting niche sports?

TP: Niche sports can be an excellent way for operators to fill in the downtime between the major sports seasons.

Not only that but there is also a sense of getting ahead of the curve. Niche sports are a small part of the market right now, but their popularity on social media suggests there is potential there.

All major operators will cover the same sports and events, and offering niche sports alongside them can provide them with an excellent opportunity to stand out from the pack and engage sports bettors during down periods.

NEXT: How important a role do community and social media play in the rise of alternative sports betting?

TP: I cannot overstate the importance of community when it comes to the growth of niche sports. Social media helps to build a community around these events, and with that comes anticipation and hype.

Niche sports can quickly build up a head of steam on social media, and once you have a community of fans and bettors engaged with the sport, you have a strong foundation for the future.

Many of PLN’s events do not take place in front of a live audience, which means social media is the primary way people can get involved with one another and share their thoughts. This also makes the sports accessible for everyone, which is an obstacle that a lot of major sports struggle to overcome.

NEXT: Could niche sports and social-betting experiences be the key for operators looking to unlock the Gen-Z audience?

TP: While I wouldn’t describe it as the key, I think that it could be a small but important part of the sports and sports betting ecosphere.

Gen Z is always looking for new and exciting sports to engage with, and niche sports provide them with exactly that. These events are all live-streamed with top-of-the-range video equipment and are capable of attracting huge audiences, with a digitally native generation likely to be the most engaged.

Troy Paul is a highly accomplished business leader and CEO of SGG Media, the #1 source for sports social media content and advertising. With a passion for growth and success, Troy leads a team that incorporates 1,450 influencers with a staggering 35 million avid sports fan followers. He has secured contracts with some of the most recognisable names in the sports and related industries including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM Casinos and Fanatics.

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