12 May, 2021

The personal touch

João Vaz, Betwinner PR director, stresses the importance of communication and affiliation in igaming during the pandemic.

In difficult times like these, communication and the work of an industry already strong online and very technological went into overdrive, since all the networking that was in person at fairs switched formats. Sometimes at these fairs, you don't have time to network and go to conferences, but in these times of online by obligation, we've seen that content and knowledge plus networking can be done simultaneously. Returning to normal is inevitable and desirable for the events of igaming, but massification of the online presence of communication is here to stay.

One thing I believe in this industry, and it is the reality of my actual job role, is the integrating of PR with outreach and affiliation is a proven method to increase conversion and brand awareness.

If the affiliate was mentioned in an article, sharing the article on social media or, again, on the affiliate platform with good PR guidelines and transparent communication, will help maximise these efforts, and increase product awareness and conversion. So a good way to reach potential customers is to be clear about integrating PR with outreach, as an affiliate is a proven method to increase conversion and brand awareness.

With that clear, we can start growing because it's always exciting to enter new markets and new countries, and also develop communicational products with a local dimension fighting cultural blocks and wanting to become an integral part of that reality, creating an adaptation of the product to the local stage.

A good example is the online gambling market in Latin America that has become strategic and is expected to grow 11.5% between 2020 and 2027. Brazil, for example, which is still in the period of regulation of online and land-based sports betting, has the possibility to see more than 500% growth by 2025 and become one of the top countries in terms of gross revenue. Brazil, therefore, presents colossal potential. To reach those markets it's important to take advantage of the opportunities that isolation has brought, such as the need to think outside the box to remodel, and expand sportsbook and casino products. Many are reinventing themselves, developing and implementing new promotions for their platforms to make the experience of gambling more interesting, and reach a level of communication with costumers more efficiently. The important thing is not to stand still. Follow the change and be creative.

We made a bet to start with a great name in Brazilian football, to try to communicate and enter the market with an image of credibility and approximation. Despite the situation of Covid-19, we closed some significant agreements, like with Pentacampeão and ex-Real Madrid player Roberto Carlos as our ambassador in Latin America until the World Cup in Qatar next year.

During lockdown, we started looking for new opportunities and some other partnerships and sponsorships, as with Ukrainian club, Karpaty Lviv. Ukraine has recently passed its Gambling Act into law, which demonstrates the importance of online gambling regulations and the need to unify standards and regulations.

In Europe we renewed our partnership with luxury lifestyle rally, OneLife Rally. With this, we're able to communicate with other potential customers and have other affiliation channels.

In the art of communicating, it'll always be easier to reach customers with credibility and transparency, and always utilizing a local voice. For example, like in Brazil, in Nigeria, Betwinner already has an office and a licence, and in an effort to try to speak globally with a more effective communication, we will have a 15-minute program on a sports radio station, Brila FM, in which we'll speak about brand and sports. Africa is a rising star in the igaming market. We're pushing to be present in other countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana as well. But Nigeria can present a unique challenge as it's become the second-largest online gambling market after South Africa. Esports is among the most popular forms of gambling in Nigeria, and many football fans watch La Liga and the English Premier League as well, but the big motivation is to win online customers with communication and affiliation in a country with a tradition of retail-dominant players.

The pandemic has brought us opportunities and challenges for developing communication, learning and ideas. We gained new networks and working patterns that can help us develop products, working with teams sometimes separated by a camera or one click.

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