GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 19 - February 2012

by Sinead Lambert 2012 is a big year! On top of the usual peak events, this year we have UEFA Euro 2012 and the London Olympics. Below are four events to target and plan for. But before deciding on which events you’re going to target, have a talk with your affiliate managers. Find out which events they focus on, which events gener- ate the most revenue and which events are best for acquisition. Cheltenham (March 13-16) The Cheltenham festival is a staple in the U.K. sporting calendar. Held over four days, it is one of the biggest betting events of the year, with over £500 million report- edly wagered in 2011. It attracts high- value racing punters, much coveted by bookmakers and affiliates. The four-day festival is the bread and butter for many sportsbook affiliates. The number of online and mobile bets is increasing at a phenomenal rate year on year. The Racing Post App spent four days as the No.1 sports app in iTunes during the festival in March 2011, with a record num- ber of 60,000 customers using the app. Put simply, the festival is too big to ignore. As Cheltenham punters are typically quite high value, bookmakers offer generous customer and affiliate deals during the festival, like increased free bets, daily customer cash-back offers and increased commissions. Even though it is extremely competitive it is still worth your while to promote the festival. Start early; have a chat with your affiliate managers at LAC. Decide up front which bookmakers you’re going to promote. Instead of promoting every bookmaker under the sun, just promote a select few. Go with the bookmakers with the strong, reputable brands. Your traffic will recog- nize and trust them, so they will convert well for you during the festival. These se- lect few will also be well established and will retain your referrals for you. Grand National (April 14) An estimated 600 million people watch the Grand National worldwide. It is the highlight of the sporting and betting cal- endar, where everyone from grannies to toddlers places a bet. Due to the mass appeal of the Grand Na- tional, whatever the focus of your site is – bingo, poker or casino – it is still worth your while to include some Grand Na- tional content on your site. The Grand National is the complete opposite to Cheltenham; it’s all focused on one race, and the audience is largely made up of novice and low-value punters. Keep this in mind when building your Grand Na- tional plan. Grand National content should be simple and straightforward. A step-by-step guide on how to pick a winner or a guide on how to place a bet works well. As with Chelten- ham, pick a core set of operators to work with. Focus on large brands that are well recognized and well trusted. Your audi- ence is novice punters, so they will only recognize large brands; the smaller opera- tors will not convert as well for you. It’s never too early to start planning. Have a chat with your affiliate manag- ers at LAC; ask them what their plans for Grand National are. Find out what their commission plans for Grand National are, and what their free bet offering will be on Grand National day. Some bookmakers aren’t interested in promoting the Grand National as they believe the quality of cus- tomer is too low, while other operators ac- tively chase the large acquisition numbers during the Grand National. Start building a list of bookmakers you will be working with for Grand National 2012. Whatever you’re promoting on your site – life insurance, holidays or cupcakes – on April 14, include some Grand National content (e.g., Grand National odds, free bets and a guide on which horses are the favorites). It is the only thing people will be searching for that day. What’s big in 2012