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Sports betting affiliate Oddschecker Global Media (OGM) has today (25 January) unveiled a rebrand to FairPlay Sports Media (FPSM).

Group CEO Stuart Simms, formerly of XLMedia, suggested the refresh was part of a drive being implemented by the group’s private equity ownership to acquire brands potentially outside of betting.

The rebrand follows the purchase of Italian sports betting affiliate SuperScommesse from Catena Media last November.

In the same month, OGM launched its new affiliate venture Confido Network. The group also owns football statistics portal WhoScored.com, which it purchased in 2019.

OGM was sold by operator Flutter Entertainment to PE company Bruin Capital in 2021 in a deal worth up to $215m.

CEO Simms expanded on the reasons behind the rebrand on a media call, where he addressed plans to explore the possibility of buying into both data and AI-led companies. 

NEXT.io asked if the removal of any reference to betting in the group’s corporate moniker was part of a wider plan to diversify outside of gambling, and whether future M&A deals might reflect that strategy.

In response, Simms said: “The intersection of data, media and betting is really important, and we don’t need to explicitly state our position in betting in our predominant brand name, even though the brands that operate underneath that still have an affinity with the sports betting market.

“If you look at our acquisition of SuperScommesse, which gave us a market footprint in Italy, you should expect us to look at making technology and platform-type investments as well to further support our ambitions.

“I would see us investing in anything relating to data, machines, AI, or specific products that will help us with operators to increase our insights and analytics, as well as brands we could directly promote and sell to consumers,” he added.

While the press release announcing the rebrand highlighted “significant growth plans into various US markets”, Simms singled out Italy, Spain and Latam as territories FPSM will target, either organically or via M&A, with a particular view to promoting football-themed products in those markets.

South America is a “big focus” for the company moving forwards after being surprised by the level of penetration in several markets, which has allowed FPSM to carve out something of a leadership position.

“As we use our technology to enhance our football services, I could definitely see Italy, Spain and Latam being a key focus for us, as well as taking that Hispanic view into North America around soccer to complement some of our other US sports products,” Simms added.

With regards to the US sports betting market, Simms admitted that simply providing odds comparison services is not a strong enough strategy to attract new consumers at present.

“I would see us investing in anything relating to data, machines, AI and specific products that will help us with operators to increase our insights and analytics.”
FairPlaySports Media CEO Stuart Simms

The CEO was critical of other price comparison sites and is open to the idea of building out new types of products, partially through the use of the company’s proprietary BetTech platform.

“The US is still a really immature market, and consumers still have a limited number of operators they use; they are typically pretty loyal to those,” Simms said.

“As a standalone proposition, there isn’t a huge amount of price differentiation between operators, but I believe that odds comparison, when combined with data and other products, will be highly relevant for the US market.

“I think others in the industry have ripped off what we began doing with price comparison many years ago, but we want to build on that capability and technology and then grow it further over the course of the next few years.

On the hot topic of automation and AI, Simms said: “We’re going to be doing a lot more around predictive analysis and how that aligns with odds and price movements. I think consumers expect that.

“They manage their personal finance through apps, and I think we should be targeting that more through BetTech on the betting side.

“We already have a significant casual, social aspect to people using our product. As an educational tool, there is an opportunity for us to educate them on how to find value, which I think is quite disparate and clumsy at the moment. That’s how we can level the playing field.”

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