Listen in as Daniel Jurilj of SofaScore joins Ryan Knuppel on this milestone edition 150 of the Knup Sports Show.

Ryan Knuppel

Hey, what’s going on everybody, Ryan Knuppel here in Knup Sports Show episode 150. We’ve hit a milestone guys. We are at episode number 150, I’m excited and really thankful for all the attention and times that you guys spend watching the show and the feedback I get from everybody has been amazing. Just really appreciative as we head into 2022, we have a whole lineup of shows that we’re going to be bringing you guys all. So please continue with that feedback. As I always say, at the beginning of this show, the show is live, so if you see comments or you want to make comments on any of the channels, YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, wherever you can find this, please make comments. We’ll bring them up during the show. We can talk live and raw as we go through this thin.

Hopefully you’re staying safe wherever you are listening to this show, but let’s get right to it. Today, we have another special guest, as we always do we bring on guests from the iGaming, sports betting industry. And today we have another awesome person here with me. Got to meet him recently. Let me bring him on, Daniel Jurilj how are you, buddy?

Daniel Jurilj

Hi Ryan and thank you for having me for this milestone event.

Ryan Knuppel

Milestone event. Hey, you hit number 150, you got to put that down as a milestone in your career.

Daniel Jurilj

Definitely.

Ryan Knuppel

So Daniel is Head of Sales at SofaScore. I’m excited to kind of dive in and talk a little more about SofaScore here. Daniel, we got to meet recently in New Jersey, it was really good to see you there. Did you have a good event at the SBC event?

Daniel Jurilj

Yes, it was an awesome event. It’s been a long period without any events and I believe this was the second event for the iGaming industry in the United States in general on this scale so it was amazing for the SBC. So it was amazing being there, meeting all the people you’ve been in touch mostly online to seeing them in-person, meeting you as well. So I was really happy to see this returning and I just hope that this new Omicron variant will not cause us troubles in 2022.

Ryan Knuppel

I tell you what it’s causing a lot of people some troubles right now, you know not to get too off topic here. We had to deal with a little bit of it in our family and I know it seems here in the US, especially, and in Florida especially, right it seems to be a lot of going on and people just battling it. So prayers to anyone that is battling it, hopefully like you said, we won’t be dealing with it for too much longer here across the world and hopefully things will be okay. So Daniel, tell us a little bit about yourself. Obviously, being in the US, you got a little different accent, so you have an accent. Where are you from? What is your career path and tell us a little bit about yourself?

Daniel Jurilj

Okay. I’m from Croatia as is my company SofaScore. We’re fully-owned and developed Croatian product. My background is mostly in marketing for the better part of my career, but since I joined SofaScore, I’ve been oriented more to partnership building and profile in the last couple of years on sales and monetization of products like SofaScore. So what SofaScore is about, like I said we are a Croatian company. And what that means, that means that we are crazy about sports. Croatia is a small country with around 4 million people, but we are very good in various sports, a lot of gold medals across Olympic sports, but maybe to your audience the most noticeable thing would be the silver medal from the Soccer World Cup in 2018 in Russia. So you can imagine that the [inaudible 00:03:59] person here in Croatia is crazy about sports, and this is basically the story behind SofaScore. Where our co-founders noticed that this enthusiasm about sports and started building a product that was oriented towards live sports.

Daniel Jurilj

But over the years, we have developed into so much more. So, SofaScore is today we say is a score statistics site. It offers live scores, it offers deep stats, something that users create when they’re watching the match live. So, SofaScore can be a game companion, or it can just inform you about the match when you are traveling, you are not able to watch it and you need to have live notifications about your favorite team. So soccer was our number one sport, but we cover more than 20 sports. US sports are playing a major role for us, mostly NBA, because we’ve had a lot of players in the NBA like Toni Kukoc, Dino Rada, Drazen Petrovic. Today, we have Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah Jazz, Dario Saric and so on.

Daniel Jurilj

So we follow a lot of NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB all covered in SofaScore and we have over 20 million monthly active users globally. Over 500,000 of them are in the United States and US users follow soccer and NBA, but also other sports as well. And our goal is to get more involved with the US audience, see what they are creating and maybe tailor DF to their needs more.

Ryan Knuppel

Well, you said Croatia loves their sports I think the US loves their sports as well. I mean, the NBA right now is super hot, especially with football kind of starting to slow down. We had the National Championship and NFLs and the playoffs and all that. I mean, I would say football is king here, but well, we call it football I know you probably don’t call it football, but whatever. Well, we won’t get into that conversation, but basketball right now, NBA, I mean, it’s amazing over the years how much attention has come on to the NBA and that league. And it’s truly been something fun to watch. So in terms of SofaScore so this is a true B2C website, right? I mean, you’re looking for sports betters to get an edge through stats and things like that, correct?

Daniel Jurilj

That is correct. We are trying to empower our users with the stats so they can make informed bets. So they feel more secure about wagering their money. Like I said, we have a lot of statistics and sometimes it is hard for users to look at just plain stats, plain numbers. So what we try to do is do some data visualizations through clever infographics or something similar, and just make either the line much more interesting to them or pre-match or post-match analysis more thorough and more interesting. We give them something they can share on social media and something they can use themselves in making their educated tips or bets. So our product is free for the end customer. They can use all the features that we have for free and our business strategy is revolving around betting companies who are, of course our main advertisers, because we have the audience who likes to bet and it makes sense for them to advertise in a product like SofaScore.

Ryan Knuppel

That’s amazing. That’s cool. So where are you headed with SofaScore? Where is that headed? What’s the future look like for you guys? I know you said you’re trying to get the US. You’re trying to make things happen there, but what’s the future look like for you guys?

Daniel Jurilj

We are global, we have like I said, 20 million monthly active users, and we want to have the app tailored to every big market to their needs. In India, for example, cricket is the number one sport. In the United States, besides the big four, you have college sports a completely different beast. So we need to tackle any issue there is revolving college sports. So our long term mission as a company, not just for United States, but globally is to be the premium publisher that covers every professional event, player, club, team, but also the amateur levels. This is something that not many products have to cover the amateur sports on a significant level. We see this as something that will differentiate us, but also provide our end users that use the app daily added value.

Daniel Jurilj

Because we all have someone who is still involved in some amateur sports and would love to see their name in an app like SofaScore. So you can open the NBA, follow the NBA in a completely premium level, but you can also put the amateur leagues and see maybe your picture inside an app like SofaScore. So we believe there’s a big potential in this. And we will focus also in this part. So maybe college sports we cannot call them amateur sports because they’re quite profitable in the United States, but the athletes are not earning professionally from this. So it can kind of be in this basket as well.

Ryan Knuppel

So let’s talk a little bit about the tech side of what you guys are doing. I mean, are you truly a web only? Do you have an app? Are you thinking of app? Tell us a little bit about the tech side and how people can access SofaScore.

Daniel Jurilj

Okay. We are present on all platforms, so we have Android and iOS app. We have the web platforms, which is mobile and desktop. And we also try to be in touch with all new developing technologies like the foldable phones. We are one of the first products that is adapting to the Samsung foldable phone. We are working with big mobile developers like Samsung, Huawei tailoring the app to their platforms. We are present on their app stores. One of the platforms that has recently in the last couple of years died out Windows phone. We were one of the first apps that was there and we still have active users using these apps. So we tried to be on all new developing technologies because any new technology can take off and we want to be one of the pioneers in every aspect. So, SofaScore is present everywhere you can find on Android TVs as well. So we are pretty, pretty spread out.

Ryan Knuppel

No, that’s awesome. I think it’s good to be everywhere. I think you know, sometimes that the challenge, right? And I want to lead into the next question, but sometimes that can be a challenge. I’m sure having the team and the tech skills to be able to keep something like this going across all the different platforms. Because as we know technology’s always changing and it’s just tough to keep up with that I’m sure. So that kind of leads me into the next question for you that I always like to ask, you know we have people watching that are part of this in industry, probably business professionals within iGaming, within sports betting. What’s one challenge that you guys are seeing that maybe somebody watching could potentially help with or what’s just one challenge that you guys are dealing with currently that maybe you could use a little help with if somebody’s watching and could reach out and help?

Daniel Jurilj

Well, since we are app developer and we also have the web platform, but a lot of our work is focused on the app retention and growing the mobile engagement because everything right up today is happening on mobile. Everyone is carrying their mobile phones with them. So we are very focused on data analysis, how to keep the retention numbers. We already have above average retention numbers, but we are very interested to see what makes one user churn? What was the thing that made him churn and correct it so it doesn’t happen in the future. So there is no universal answer, something that I can share with the rest so that we can say, okay, this is the thing that we are [inaudible 00:12:26] to keep the users.

Daniel Jurilj

We are just trying to listen to our users as much as we can. We respond to every feedback on the app stores, read all the reviewers. We receive a lot of emails from our users suggesting changes, complaining about something, or just praising the SofaScore and we try to respond to all these emails. So keeping engaged with the users, listening to their needs this is the way forward. So this way we are trying to build the best product in the market.

Ryan Knuppel

That’s a good answer. I mean, I think it is interesting how tough it becomes to get people’s attention and keep people’s attention, right? I mean, we’re in a world these days where like attention is so all over the place. And so I think that’s a common problem that people and businesses have is okay, I got this user, but how do I keep their attention and how do I keep them engaged? And how do I keep them active within what SofaScore is doing? So, yeah, that’s a common problem that a lot are dealing with. So we pulled up SofaScore here. We’re just scrolling through, this is the web version just kind of showing people who are watching live what they have or what the app is. This is the web version looks like. Lots and lots of data, right? Lots of scores looks like scores from every league. We’re in football here, but we got basketball, tennis, table tennis, hockey, every sport imaginable. eSports, you guys are even doing some stuff in eSports, huh Daniel?

Daniel Jurilj

Yes. Yes. Actually, this is one of the benefits of the pandemic for us because over that time point all sports were stopped. eSports could be played and were played and we decided, okay, we need to add eSports. And we used the first pandemic lockdown to develop eSports. And we’ve been upgrading it ever since and it’s been quite good for us. Users are happy, engaged and suggesting changes so it’ll grow even more.

Ryan Knuppel

I love it. I love it. Well, cool. Well, Daniel, I don’t want to keep you. I know you’re a busy man. Again, I just know when we talked in New Jersey, I really enjoyed our conversation and I thought, man, I’d love to have Daniel on talk a little bit about SofaScore because as you guys try to emerge here in the United States, I mean, it’s hopefully a brand we’ll start seeing more of here in the United States. Because I think it’s certainly something that could help betters and help people get a little edge and heck, that’s what sports betting is all about, right? Try to find a little edge as a better and as a consumer and whatever platform that is that does it for you that’s where you go. And so hopefully SofaScore can kind of emerge here. So any last words, anything we missed? Anything you want to touch on here over the last few minutes here?

Daniel Jurilj

Just thank you again for having me. It’s been great meeting you in New Jersey. I hope that the event in July will be held again so we can follow up with a drink. I always enjoy when people are interested in SofaScore. If any of your audience has any questions for me, I’d be happy to respond. If anybody has an idea for a partnership with a company like SofaScore I’d be happy to discuss it. One of the things, for example, that we do a lot are media partnerships where big media outlets use our SofaScore infographics in their articles, because they’re so insightful, their users are engaged. So this is one of the things that I would like to highlight as well.

Ryan Knuppel

I love that. How would so may get a hold of you, Daniel? What’s the best way of getting ahold of you?

Daniel Jurilj

You can reach out to me over LinkedIn or email marketing@sofascore probably is the best way so [inaudible 00:16:03].

Ryan Knuppel

Perfect. That sounds good and then we’ll make sure we put all those links in the show notes afterwards so people don’t have to remember them. So they can go back and check and we’ll put the links to the website, we’ll put the links to your LinkedIn and things of that nature.

Daniel Jurilj

Sounds good.

Ryan Knuppel

Amazing. Well, Daniel, I really appreciate you being here. Thank you for your time. Good luck with everything. Anything I can do here, please let me know and I’m looking forward to July as well. We’ll see you in New Jersey when that event happens.

Daniel Jurilj

Thank you. Looking forward to it. [crosstalk 00:16:32].

Ryan Knuppel

Take care. Goodbye. All right. That was Daniel of SofaScore. Daniel, a really cool guy in the industry. Hopefully you guys enjoyed that show. Go out check out sofascore.com. Go out grab the app, play around with it. Certainly feels like a company that embraces feedback would love to hear more and hear how you guys use the stuff that they’re doing. So please go out, give it a shot. Appreciate you listening to this. Again, we’ll have more coming. I don’t believe we have more today, but we’ll have more next week more interviews coming to touch on people in the United States and across the world that are in the iGaming space. So thank you all for being here until next time I’m Ryan Knuppel. Talk to you soon. Bye, bye.

Relevant Daniel Jurilj / SofaScore Links

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  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanknuppel
  • Email: ryan@knupsolutions.com

Knup Sports Show - 150 - Daniel Jurilj of SofaScore on the Knup Sports Show (rectangle)