On June 17, 2021 GameOn Entertainment Technologies (GET.C) announced an exclusive partnership with India’s entertainment super app, MX Player, that will introduce cricket prediction games for mobile.
GET provides broadcasters, TV networks, OTT platforms, leagues, tournaments and sportsbooks with interactive, social experiences around sports, television and live events.
GameOn has secured distribution and white label projects with several partners.
Here in hockey-mad Canada, it may be tempting to think of Cricket as a niche sport, like Roller Derby or Quidditch.
In fact, Cricket is the 5th most popular sport in Canada (after baseball).
In India, it is the #1 sport.
“Cricket accounts for almost 85% of the Indian sports economy with IPL (Indian Premier League) being a major contributor,” reports Exchange4Media, “The bulk of Indian sports revenue comes from broadcast and sponsorship, contributing 65% and 30% respectively while ticketing revenue accounts for only 5%.”
GET’s free-to-play game will be available to MX Player’s large and diverse user base for domestic and international cricket events, tournaments and leagues.
“At GameOn, we power the best content in the world with the most innovative predictive gaming technologies in the world,” stated Matt Bailey, GameOn CEO. “Behind soccer, cricket is the second-most popular sport in the world and MX Player is watched by more than 280 million viewers globally.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the gold standard for domestic cricket leagues around the globe, and is the sixth most valuable sports league in the world, according to Forbes, trailing the NFL, the UEFA Champions League, and the four biggest domestic soccer competitions in Europe.
Viewership during the opening week of last season’s IPL in October was an astonishing 269 million viewers for seven matches across 21 channels.
In contrast, NBC broadcast Game One of the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins first-round series registered a Total Audience of 2.31 million viewers, making it the most-watched Game One on record in the first round of the NHL Playoffs since 1995.
“MX Player is an entertainment super app that integrates all forms of entertainment on one platform—including video playback, streaming video and gaming (in select markets),” stated GET.
“It hosts a wide library of premium content across 10 languages, including a critically acclaimed slate of MX Originals/Exclusives, movies, web series and TV shows.
From the stable of Times Internet, the digital venture of Times of India, India’s largest media and entertainment group, MX Player has now spread its footprints across 12 markets including United Arab Emirates, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan.”
GameOn has a dynamic and experienced management team led by its CEO, Matt Bailey (Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center) and board members J Moses (Take-Two Interactive), Shafin Tejani (Victory Square Technologies), Liz Schimel (Apple News) and Carey Dillen (YYoga).
“The MX Player deal is a white-label partnership and an indication of where our focus lies” explained Bailey in an exclusive interview with Equity Guru.
White-labeling is less sexy than branding but often more profitable – as it comes without the expense and operational drag of marketing and distribution.
In this scenario, the technology creator (GameOn) uses the branding requested by the buyer “MX Player” instead of its own.
“We’re delighted to partner with GameOn for this cricket prediction game that fuels the passion for the sport in the country,” said Nakul Kapur, Head of International Business and Games at MX Player. “Connecting millions of avid fans through their shared love for cricket, this game will keep you on the edge of your seat with its prediction model.”
“This is a major opportunity for GameOn, not only as a strong revenue-driver, but from an awareness standpoint that we are driving engagement, connectivity and gamification for partners and content providers across the globe,” stated Bailey.
“To exclusively power MX Player’s free-to-play prediction games is a huge opportunity to further engage an already passionate fan base that is yearning for cricket and connectivity during this time,” concluded Bailey.
We asked Bailey to explain predictive gaming.
“It’s a way of giving superfans, a super engaging experience,” stated Bailey, “Take reality TV as an example, a space we’re actively in, “Before the TV show, you can enter predictions like: what color dress will a certain cast member will be wearing? Who will receive a rose? Will there be an engagement or proposal in this week’s episode? All white-labeled to the partner’s look-and-feel and powered by GameOn.”
“The best predictors could win money-can’t-buy-prizes like a meet-and-greet with their favorite cast members or tickets to a live airing of the show. Predictions keep you engaged,” added Bailey.
One of GameOn’s most important features is that it is, “zero lift” for its partners.
“The production teams of our partners don’t have to do anything,” explains Bailey, “Being programmatic and automatic is a powerful selling point to the partners we’re working with. Our engine writes, results and distributes prizing, requiring no human production.”
Bailey points out that viewership is an important KPI (Key Performance Indicator). But data collection and revenue are also important.
“Gen Z isn’t watching TV right now,” explains Bailey, “TV – historically ‘The First Screen’ – is becoming ‘The Second Screen’. And for the newest generation, ‘The Never Screen.’”
“Some teenagers don’t know how to turn on ABC,” added Bailey, “And that’s a problem. They’re playing games, they’re on Tik Tok. By creating interactivity, we’re helping traditional platforms not become ‘The Never Screen’”.
GameOn’s value proposition is significantly de-risked by a partnership with Victory Square Technologies (VST.C) – a tech incubator that “builds, acquires and invests in promising start-ups, then provides the senior leadership and resources needed to fast track growth”.
VST targets the 4th Industrial Revolution with a portfolio of 20 global companies using AI, VR/AR and blockchain.
“With real skin in the game, we’re committed to ensuring each company in our portfolio succeeds,” states VST. “Our secret sauce starts with selecting start-ups that have real solutions, not just ideas.”
Victory Square offers investors “early-stage access to the next unicorns before they’re unicorns”.
In the “Car Ride Confessions of a CEO” interview with PI Financial Investment Advisor Justin Hayek below, Victory Square CEO Shafin Diamond Tejani tells his origin story.
“I started in the mid-90s in the on-line dating space,” explains Tejani, “At the time there were classified sections in the back of newspapers where people would connect, or 1-900 toll free dating numbers.”
“I saw how the internet was going to disrupt that. It was a borderless subject matter, in that dating was all over the world. And we became very good at driving customers”.
“Tying into Victory Square today, our model is buying, building or investing in companies that complement our existing portfolio, or going out and finding a business or a team that we already have customers for,” added Tejani.
“This is an opportune time for GameOn to continue its strong growth and also provide value to VST and its shareholders as our latest incubated company to publicly list on the Canadian Securities Exchange,” stated Tejani.
VST owns almost 60% of GameOn.
GameOn recently closed a $5.8 million oversubscribed financing.
“This influx of resources will not only allow us to further enable content providers and their fans with shared, gamified viewing experiences, but also ignites the ability to scale quickly by way of M&A to expand teams and existing products, as well as develop complimentary offerings,” stated Bailey
– Lukas Kane
Full Disclosure: GameOn is an Equity Guru marketing client.