THE relaxing of gambling laws in the US has seen a rise in augmented reality prediction games in team apps.
Merging the worlds of betting and fan engagement, the free-to-play games are increasingly helping sports team to also attract big ticket sponsors.
Xperiel, a company founded by brothers Alex and Philipp Hertel, who previously created software that became the basis for Google Wallet, have been working with the NFL's New York Jets and NBA team Sacramento Kings for the past two seasons.
Xperiel?s technology is designed to link data in order to create immersive experiences on mobile phones, but it is only since the US Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting in May 2018 that things have really started to take off for Xperiel.
Both the Jets and the Kings now boast MGM Resorts International as the official gaming partner.
They partnered up with the Jets in the first NFL deal involving a Casino in October 2018 for the game "I Called It" in which fans predict what will happen in Jets games. They did likewise with the Kings in January on a game titled "Call The Shot" where fans predict game outcomes.
Sports Techie report that Xperiel have signed up with NFL sides Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens, with other franchises expressing an interest to incorporate their free-to-play games into their apps after the current season.
Prediction games are technically not gambling as fans play for fun and are viewed as fan engagement tools which build fan loyalty, especially among the generations brought up on digital content.
Xperiel CEO and cofounder Alex Hertel told Sports Techie: ?These fans grew up with a video game controller in their hands.
?There?s a large picture here of teams wanting to stay relevant with them, especially in the face of increasing competition from other spheres; other sports but also esports and Twitch.
"There?s a lot of things now satisfying that need for entertainment. Teams have recognized that and moved toward more types of digital entertainment.?