GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 1 - May 2007

Affliate Program Manager Interview Series 33 GLOBAL REACH & PERSONAL TOUCH ARE WINNING COMBO AT AWA Could you tell us a little bit about your program? Trusted since 1997, the United Partner Program, brought to you by Affiliated Web Attractions (AWA),ispoweredbyGrandVirtual®technology, the most trusted name in online gaming and entertainment worldwide. Their software and support systems provide seamlessly integrated components for the best player experience anywhere. AWA is internationally focused; all allied properties are recognised by the Online Gaming Alliance™ (OGA™), the largest global gaming alliance for international standards and ethics. Properties included in this program are: Everest Poker, Everest Casino, Casino Glamour, Casino Elegance, Casino Treasure, Casino Fantasy, Casino Lux, and Imperial Casino. Since passage of the UIGEA, what has changed and how has your program adapted? Not much changed for us since we stopped accepting real-money play in the U.S. back in late July 2006. How do you approach working with portal webmasters? My approach is simple: Keep communications open and handle each situation on a one-on- onebasis. I hardly everuse“templates” in my response to partners. I handle each partner email separately and always follow up in a timely manner. I know this seems impossible, but if you check with any partners who work with me they’ll agree that my follow-up skills and turnaround time are above industry standards (at least that’s what they tell me). Our affiliate partners are the heart of our business. I think it is important that we realize this and perform accordingly. What percentage of your business is directly attributable to affiliates? A large portion, which is why it is important to cultivate and assist the partners in achieving their own individual success. What has the withdrawal of NETeller meant to the industry and your program? It did not since we weren’t accepting real-money U.S. play. What do you hope to accomplish being a GPWA sponsor? AWA’s United Partner Program was one of the first to offer properties in several different languages. We hit our niche early in Europe, where some of the other programs are just starting to concentrate on now. We have at least one account manager, if not more, for each language market. If you’re one of my affiliate accounts and you need advice on how to market to a different country, I have the luxury of asking one of our other affiliate managers (whichever one handles that country specifically) to assist me in helping you. Our goal is to become the premier affiliate program in respect to true global integration of affiliate marketing. What advice would you give to new would-be gaming affiliates? Think about how you can reach out globally into several different markets. We’ve seen so many partners that had all their eggs in one basket. Affiliate marketing is like having an investment portfolio. Sure, one of your markets probably leads the way in return on investment, but then something beyond your control might grossly affect that market’s performance. It’s always a good idea to cultivate additional markets so that if something happens along theway, you already have some experience in other markets that you can begin to build into primary markets. Always think globally! What makes your program a unique experience for its players? The most unique feature that our players enjoy is the ability to play in their native language. Having our properties translated into multiple languages is a key feature of our program. Whatdoyouseeasthemostessential things that an affiliate must be doing today to achieve long-term success? As I mentioned before, think globally right from the beginning. You might not have the knowledge or the starting investments to achieve global success right from the start, but always be THINKING about it. Once you have success in one market, start to experiment in others and cultivate them. Global marketing is the best approach to long-term success. Overview Affiliated Web Attractions (AWA) is an association of top online gaming and entertainment sites that promotes a philosophy of operational excellence, a commitment to ethical standards set by the Online Gaming Alliance, plus support and distribution of cutting-edge Grand Virtual technology. Because of the success of their sites with players and their commitment to excellence with partners, AWA pays out many millions of dollars (US$) to their partners every year. With AWA’s United Partner Program, you earn money by marketing some of the Web’s most internationally recognized properties. Software Platform: Grand Virtual Earnings: Casino Revenue Share, Poker Revenue Share Brands: Casino Elegance, Casino Fantasy, Casino Glamour, Casino Lux, Casino Treasure, Everest Casino, Everest Poker, Imperial Casino Damian Stevens Position: Affiliate Manager, AWA Age: 31 Hometown: Everett, Massachusetts, USA Favourite Place to Travel: ”Being a longtime poker player, I’d have to say Las Vegas.” Preferred Pastimes: ”Playing poker, painting, drawing, singing with a local band, playing bass guitar in my spare time.” Favourite Sports: ”I grew up in a football town (American football, that is), and this is my sport of choice. I also enjoy a night out at a baseball game. Go Patriots and Red Sox!!!” “The Red Bull cans are firmly wedged, I am afraid; I struggle finding hats that fit these days!” GPWA TIMES | AWA | Damian Stevens