Verizon Media, the media and technology group, and Entain, the sports betting and gaming operator, have entered into what they describe as a “global innovation alliance to develop new opportunities across interactive sports and entertainment”.
Entain brands include BetMGM in the US, co-owned with MGM Resorts, and Ladbrokes, PartyPoker and bwin.
The new partnership coincides with initial results from new research undertaken by YouGov on behalf of Entain, revealing that the use of technology especially in the US and Australia, is increasingly shaping consumer behaviours in gaming and entertainment around the world.
It found that social media, with modern digital experiences powered by virtual reality and 5G, has become essential to user enjoyment, fuelling development in both gaming and e-sports.
Verizon Media and Entain will also work together to create a first-of-its-kind “highly immersive proof of concept virtual reality experience” that will combine live sports viewing with digital sports knowledge and gaming layers. Consumers will be able to participate in sports events, check data, socialise with friends, and position bets on platforms from Entain.
In addition, with digital technology such as 5G, virtual reality and augmented reality, Entain will work closely with Verizon Media to create ideas for new platforms to bring the best immersive content and gaming experiences to sports betting and gambling.
In addition to betting on live streaming sports events on the Entain platforms, the aim is to create authentic, immersive experiences for sports fans, such as being in the arena, engaging in games, playing and betting on Entain platform results.
Shay Segev, CEO of Entain, commented: “To win in the future we need to understand where consumers will be in five, 10 years’ time and work with other global businesses also investing in that.
“We envisage consumers meeting at a game with friends, who could in fact be elsewhere, using virtual reality headsets to watch, interact and share the experience together and, potentially, compete between themselves at half time or feel like they’re on the pitch with the players.”
Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media, stated: “This new alliance takes the collaboration between our two companies to a new level and will allow us both to maximize new opportunities across sports-betting, content and entertainment.
“Together, we are building the next-generation of content experiences for sports and gaming fans. Our world-first 5G-enabled production studios in LA and London, creative technology teams and Verizon Media’s Immersive platform, that enables extended reality (XR) content to be created and distributed across digital channels at scale, allow partners like Entain to bring next-level immersive and interactive experiences to their customers.”
The partnership builds on the strong established relationship between Yahoo Sports, part of Verizon Media, and BetMGM. In the US, BetMGM is incorporated across Yahoo Sports, and fans can position a bet with BetMGM in legal jurisdictions without leaving the Yahoo Sports app.
We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with @verizonmedia!
Together, Verizon Media and Entain will pioneer exciting new breakthrough technology such as VR integration and 5G capabilities.
— Entain (@EntainGroup) December 17, 2020