Established in 2018 by the Assomull brothers, Vickram and Gaurav, LivePools in the past two years has grown to 1.5 million registered users on the back of a solid fantasy gaming product driven by marquee sporting events such as the ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL 2019, and the Ashes to name few that has helped to build its player base. With the completion of the rebranding and continued product innovation, BLITZPOOLS is positive to extend its user base of 10 million players by 2022.
Previously known as LivePools, the skill-based fantasy sports platform recently entered into an agreement with i3 Interactive inc. a leading global online and mobile gaming platform wherein the company acquired a 51% stake in LivePools and now has rebranded it to BLITZPOOLS, providing the best customer interaction and a smooth user experience.
In addition, and as part of the new brand launch, BLITZPOOLS has engaged celebrities and influencers alike with a combined following of over 215 MM followers. On top of aligning with the brand launch and passion for fantasy sports, BLITZPOOLS is extremely excited about the extensive audience this will bring to the product ahead of the much-awaited IPL season. Among the celebrities promoting the launch are Sunny Leone, Urvashi Rautela, Natasia Stankovic, and Mouni Roy.
Speaking on the rebranding and the brand ambassador announcement, the Assomull brothers, Vickram and Gaurav, founders of BLITZPOOLS said, “We are embarking on a new journey and through this exciting adventure, we aim to capture and captivate the minds and hearts of every Indian consumer involved in online gaming. Through this rebrand, we want to create an interactive user experience and strengthen the product in the Indian market. Giving it a fresh look and feel, we are also delighted to announce Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Shreyas Gopal, and Wriddhiman Saha as the new faces of the brand. These young and rising cricket super stars resonate well with our target audience and will bring on board their fans who in turn will get a chance to play with each of them. We believe it will be a great association and will help us enhance the brand’s uniqueness. By the end of IPL 2021, BLITZPOOLS is confident it will be home to one of the largest fantasy sports player bases in India“.
Medianews4U in an exclusive chat with Gaurav Assomull, Founder, BLITZPOOLS, spoke on the new tie-ups, upcoming IPL, way forward for fantasy sports, and their Focus for 2021…
Fantasy Sports the most sought out the app for millennials, how has the journey been since 2018?
Millennial have always looked for new ways to keep themselves active and occupied. Engagement in the field of sports has grown to an extent that every other person is interested in one sport or another. It has been a long journey for us since 2018, we found a tremendous amount of awareness within the space as there are certainly larger competitors who have paved the way and educated the market. Cricket data awareness used in skill gaming in India became popular and it has certainly made it easier over the years for us. Facebook &Instagram didn’t recognize this as a game of skill when we started in 2018 due to which acquisitions during that period were more challenging. Today, there are all sorts of positive signs for the future of fantasy sport games in India. Yes, there are still several hurdles to overcome, but with more and more people having access to data and banking systems, improvement in understanding the use of debit cards, UPI and online transactions it is helping the market to grow. The understanding of fantasy sports in this country has allowed us to see many positive changes both on a level of interest and acquisition within the fantasy space over the last three years.
Recently you rebranded and signed up some of the emerging cricket players, the strategy behind this?
We recently entered into an agreement with i3 Interactive inc. a leading global online and mobile gaming platform that invested a 51% stake in Livepools. Post the investment, it was rebranded to Blitzpools. Our aim is to take the fantasy sports market in India by storm and give consumers guaranteed best-in-class bonuses, industry-leading deposit and pay-out options, and a market-leading product with constant innovation. Further, we even signed rising cricket stars Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Shreyas Gopal, and Wriddhiman Saha to be the face of the brand. Our strategy to get them on board is straightforward. While there are already a lot of prominent names who are associated with other brands, we consider ourselves as platforms of the future, and keeping in mind the same have aligned with cricketers who will emerge as superstars of the future. We will continue to get more people on “Team Blitz” before the IPL as we expect 3-4 names more to be added. At the end of the day, we are a sporting app, and our target market is of cricket lovers predominantly along with football and kabaddi during the respective seasons. It is important that we stay relevant within the sector and space we are in; hence we chose to continue to move ahead with cricketers as of now. We are extremely confident that this association will help us enhance the brand’s uniqueness and boost engagement. Keeping interactive user experience at its core, we aim to build and strengthen product recall in the Indian market. By the end of IPL 2021, Blitzpools is confident it will be home to one of the largest fantasy sports player bases in India.
Is BLITZPOOLS only concentrating on cricket, any moves to extend to other sports?
India is one of the largest and fastest-growing online gaming markets in the world where the gross revenues of online fantasy sports operators stood at ₹2,400 crores in FY20, compared to ₹920 crores in FY19 (according to the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and KPMG). Blitzpools is definitely multi-sports and while we are obviously focusing on cricket predominantly as India is a highly cricket-centric market, we do focus on football as well. Unfortunately, ISL has wrapped up and we have the English premier league and European football leagues which we have a much higher viewership in the European leagues, but it constitutes a very less percentage of what we do with cricket. Kabaddi is another sport which we have under our banner since the Livepools days and it is by far the second biggest sport after cricket in India and once the kabaddi season starts, we’ll have it on our platform as well.
Who is your core TG and is it popular in Tier 3 & 4 markets?
Our core TG is male, between the age of 19 – 35 in tier 2, 3 & 4 cities along with major cities. In tier 2 & 3 the ticket size is slightly less but then there is a high level of interest within these smaller tiers. North of India is a much-focused market for us than South of India and we will hopefully continue to take over the market as we can and educate people and acquire as many customers as we can through our journey.
2021 looks exciting as far as the sports calendar goes your plans?
2021 is going to be an exciting year ahead for sports. There is a calendar of sports events that are lined up this year beginning with IPL next month. Other cricket tournaments will follow IPL before we witness the ICC T20 World Cup which will also be a key focus for us in 2021. Apart from Cricket, Kabaddi and Football tournaments including the Indian Super League will play a critical role wherein we aim to leverage all these sporting events to extend our reach to over 10 million users by 2022.
You’re Focus in 2021 and where do you see this genre Fantasy Sports in the next 3 years?
Focus in 2021 is to purely grow the business; we are aiming to take the business from 1.5 million registered users to more than 5 million users before the end of this year. This year we certainly have a lot of sports coming our way with the IPL, T20 World Cup, Euro Cup followed by a bunch of different T20 leagues along with international cricket and other sports. We will continue with our approach to capture and captivate the minds and hearts of every Indian consumer involved in online gaming. Our current focus is the 14th edition of IPL and with the marketing budget we have received this year, we aim to strengthen our customer acquisition strategy as there are hundreds of millions of potential customers moving online. We have all the positive signs of achieving our target with the jam-packed schedule of sports this year. If the next 3 years are anything like what we’ve witnessed in the last 3 years, then there is certainly tremendous growth that is yet to happen within this space. I certainly think the market is nascent and still maturing despite the larger competitors having as much traction as they do, and I see a bright future in the next few years within all skilled gaming spaces especially the fantasy space.