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Hybrid live sports: potentially a stroke of genius

Hybrid live sports: potentially a stroke of genius

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There is a saying amongst creative types that your best idea is always the next one. I believe that this notion is, in reality, extremely rare.

Did the creator of Space Invaders ever again come up with anything close? Or the Japanese lady who conceived Tamagotchi? Both are amongst the greatest minds in gaming history, but lightning like that almost never strikes twice.

Consider the very cornerstones of the gaming industry to this day, both roulette and blackjack as we still know them were invented over 300 years ago, and both core games have never been bettered. The first sports bets were placed at the 23rd Olympiad, 676 years before Christ was born! In the many decades since, there has been much evolution, but revolution is the very rarest of commodities.

That said, as a passionate admirer of occasional strokes of genius, it is always thrilling to witness a creation – or an evolution – that is truly new, a bold move that could potentially change everything.

Hybrid Live Sports

Such could be the case with hybrid live sports, the creation of Twain Sport, a division of Lithuania’s BetGames. The Hybrid Sports League, as its name suggests, is a completely new hybrid version of live sport, providing both sports bettors and a new audience of casual players with a high frequency entertainment and a fresh betting opportunity.

A hungry market

As technology accelerates and a new generation of bettors becomes obsessed with new ideas, this concept might be perfectly timed. The social media generation has bought into sports betting but many of them still want more. More content variety and so, more options. And the Hybrid Sports League has arrived with a short-form of live sport, on which they can place a bet every few minutes. As an idea, this is quite brilliant.

Twain Sport has arrived

Twain Sport merges quick, dynamic and action-packed hybrid sports, currently based upon the traditional betting sports of basketball and football (soccer).

Each individual event sees two professional athletes compete head-to-head to score the most points in just 60 seconds of action. A tournament with eight players lasts one hour, and 10 to 14 tournaments are played each day and in each sport. Twain Sport events take place in custom-built arenas, with the concept bridging the gap in demand for increased live sports with a high-frequency entertainment format.

The first hybrid sport to be launched was T-Basket, a basketball-based game, and the second was T-Kick, a football-based offer. Europe was the first port of call for both, but Twain Sports is now licensed in the Canadian province of Ontario, where it already has 10 commercial partnerships in the pipeline.

Truly global potential

The global potential for these hybrid live sports is not difficult to imagine – basketball is a firmly established betting sport throughout North America and elsewhere, and football is known as ‘the world game’, with vast audiences and fanbases across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. These two sports touch the lives of hundreds of millions of people, and provided the hybrid contests deliver excitement and entertainment, who’s to say how huge they could become?

And then where does it lead? In North America, they will surely consider baseball, football (gridiron) and ice hockey, and more globally maybe tennis, rugby, cricket and even fighting arts and motorsports.

T-Basket and T-Kick

T-Basket is a head-to-head basketball challenge, with two athletes shooting from various distances to score the most points for a win in just 60 seconds. Professional athletes compete on two half courts, side by side, with four racks of balls in each. Every shot is worth one, two or three points and these are randomly determined. Eight players compete in a single tournament which lasts just one hour. The two best players from each group advance to a single-game knockout stage, where the player who wins both games in the playoffs is the tournament winner.

10 tournaments are played each day, with 10 hours of action broadcast live, 365 days a year. Each season lasts three months, and on the final day, the ranking leader is crowned as Season Champion.

T-Kick is a similar head-to-head challenge, with two players shooting from various distances to score the most points for a win in just 60 seconds. Again, there are two half courts, side by side, with three racks of balls in each. Each shot is worth one, two or three points and again, these are randomly determined.

Eight players compete in a single tournament which lasts one hour, and the qualifying and full tournament format is the same as in T-Basket.

T-Kick has 14 tournaments played each day, with 14 hours of action broadcast live 365 days a year.

Key to the proposition is positioning

Twain Sports’ strategy is to launch, learn and optimise each project before moving on. Given that they are creating an entirely new sports betting vertical, this makes perfect sense. Each step has to fill a gap and avoid competing with established and already profitable ideas.

The hybrid live sports proposition is being consciously positioned as a complimentary product, created to generate new sportsbook revenues, and it is a potential stroke of genius that tier-one operators should take a long, hard look at.