Sportradar’s Simulated Reality Relies On Familiarity

Holding to the sport calendar and taking a part in the ‘ritual’ of the daily football fan, is crucial to setting up Simulated Reality for Sportradar, the firm’s MD for US Betting Werner Becher said.

At the end of March, Sportradar released the AI-driven product, making it instantly available to clients as part of its established betting events portfolio.

The company draws on the historical football database and statistical results of Sportradar to provide match data, providing both pre-match and live betting markets in England, Germany and Spain for top-tier football leagues.

You may argue that scheduling has lost value to sports bettors, with many people either living in lockdown or furloughed from work. Why would your appetite to put a bet at the ‘usual’ time be the strongest, because you are already living your regular life?

For Becher, however, creating a product that aligns with actual matches, and the schedule they would have been played to, was a simple target for the simulated Reality project.

He said: “With Simulated Reality it was our clear goal to develop a product that is very similar to real matches and provides sports fans with what they are missing: scheduled sports matches.

“Customers are used to placing bets, on football matches in particular, at specific times during the week. It’s a familiar part of a fans football ritual and it’s that familiarity that is part of Simulated Reality’s appeal.”

In line with this “familiarity” theme, Becher clarified that all matches originally scheduled between the final games actually played and the launch of the Simulated Reality product would be replicated in mid-week- “as would be the case in the real world.”  That’s including all matches played in the three weeks that followed Leicester vs Aston Villa on March 9 for the Premier League.

He went on to add: “Where possible, we plan to fulfil the remaining fixtures of each league and crown a champion on each country’s final day of the season as per the original schedules. If that’s not possible, due to the sheer volume of games on offer, we’ll schedule them as close to the final fixtures as possible.”

As things stand, there is obviously a lot of uncertainty around when football’s biggest leagues will resume. Germany’s Bundesliga is reportedly closing on a return, so what would happen if the real thing is back before the simulations are due to conclude in mid-May?

“There’s still much uncertainty about the return of live sport,” said Becher. “If live football was to come back tomorrow, we would expect them to complete their remaining fixtures at a later date than originally scheduled.”

Thus simulated betting markets should be open to consumers before the initial season end dates – no matter how soon the leagues will return. This could potentially include a real certification check for modelling the Sportradar, should any potential postponements continue or re-emerge.

Becher agreed, saying: “By the time the leagues return, the Simulated Reality leagues – having followed the original fixture list – will likely be completed. It will be interesting to see, when they do return, how realistic the outcomes of our Simulated Reality games are when compared to the real games, and if the same teams came out as champions.”

Sportradar said it wanted to expand its Simulated Reality software to many other leagues and competitions when it released the app three weeks ago. But what else is involved in the sports?

According to Becher: “We have recently launched Simulated Reality cricket and offer T20 matches from Australia, England and India. We will very soon launch a tennis product and offer events each week covering tournaments in London, Madrid, Paris and Rome as scheduled. Looking to the future, we are developing a basketball version and evaluating some other sports as well.”