Fantasy sports industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in India, and fantasy cricket is one of the popular choices among Indian fans, making it the most favourable sport for marketers to earn profit from. That’s why before the IPL season commences, we get to witness a bunch of fantasy sports operators’ campaigns.
In February the skill based fantasy sports platform LivePools entered into an agreement with i3 Interactive (currently known as Interactive Games Technologies – IGT), a leading global online and mobile gaming platform, wherein the company acquired 51 per cent stake in LivePools, rebranding it to BLITZPOOLS.
In conversation with AnimationXpress, LivePools (now BLITZPOOLS) co-founder Gaurav Assomull shared that they have been in the market for three years and the reason behind the rebranding is that IGT plans to push its BLITZ brand in India as well. Similarly they have BLITZPOKER and BLITZBET as well.
On asking how competitive the fantasy sports market is in India, he replied, “As far the newcomers are concerned, there is quite a bit of appetite in the market, and a significant amount of scope within the industry. The education and awareness of consumers in the fantasy base is growing which is making potential opportunities for new players with funding behind them are certainly coming today.”
It is true that every Indian fantasy sports platform waits for the region’s most popular sport title IPL and BLITZPOOLS was no exception. He shared, “IPL for any fantasy company is extremely very huge. When IPL is on, everything else becomes secondary.” The entire season of IPL certainly benefits the entire fantasy sports ecosystem.
In 2021 as IPL happened twice, it was great for them but unfortunately it was suspended midway because of the COVID-19 outburst. As the entire country fights against Covid19, BLITZPOOLS also aims to do the same by raising funds with help of the users of BLITZPOOLS by donating money for every team entered in their COVID-19 relief pool. The brand encourages fantasy players to be a part of this initiative by creating teams on Free Pool which will be named ‘COVID19 Relief’.
Speaking on the new initiative, BLITZPOOLS founders, the Assomull brothers, Vickram and Gaurav said, “It is a difficult time for our country, and we are all in this together. We need to fight this pandemic as one unit. Our users are an integral part of the BLITZPOOLS family and with their help we aim to achieve our goal of supporting the country. We at Blitzpools.com pledge our support for this battle against Covid-19. We will be launching a new pool on our app and the website for our users to participate and play for free in the ‘COVID19 Relief’ pool and all the proceeds will go to Helping Hand Foundation. We are happy to be associated with Helping Hands Foundation and thank them for their continuous efforts to make India a better place.”
This pool will allow the fantasy players to create up to five teams every day, over the next five days. The brand will be paying Rs 5 for each team entered from their side as part of their contribution. The amount will be donated to the Helping Hands foundation. The funds will be used for food, medical aid, marginalised communities for oxygen support, vaccination aid, vaccination centre support and Healthcare professional. The company has further announced that it will match five times the contributions made to the pool by the users for COVID-19 relief efforts. Apart from this, the brand is also sharing food boxes with the help of Helping Hand foundations to the families affected from COVID. The players can make their team for the ongoing St Lucia T10 Blast, where they can pick their fantasy teams for each match.
BLITZPOOLs will also leverage their brand ambassadors to create noise and urge people to be a part of this initiative.
Last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, the platform witnessed a spike in their number numbers; right from more active users, deposits to turnover. Being an online platform certainly has some silver lining.
The brand is optimistic that the covid situation shall pass too and they look forward to more and more competitions, and for now 2021 T20 tournaments are in queue. Gaurav Assomull stated, “This year post IPL there are a lot of sports events lined up. This year the kabaddi season is making a comeback. We have got the Euro, Euro CPLs, other T20 tournaments, World Cup and a lot of international cricket lined up.”
According to him, this year, each and every fantasy sports operator will have a strategy as there will be great opportunities to engage potential customers and fantasy lovers in the next 12 months.
As per their business plan is concerned, he expressed, “The plan for 2021 is to grow the business. We are looking to acquire five million customers by the end of the year. That’s our target and we are willing to achieve 10 million or so by next year. 2021 is to try to position the brand right and grow conservatively but aggressively. Our only focus at this point is to make sure that we grow the fantasy product as fast as we can and to give the best possible experience to our customers. That’s all we plan for 2021.”