GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 27 - February 2014

COVER STORY Building better World Cup campaigns By Aaron Todd The 2010 World Cup brought a great deal of joy to supporters of Spain, with Andrés Iniesta scoring the lone goal in extra time against the Netherlands in the final to give the Spaniards the World Cup title. The tournament also brought a great deal of joy to bookmakers around the world. It is estimated that between £1 and £3 bil- lion was wagered on the tournament on everything from single-game wagers and futures bets to prop bets on which player would score the most goals or how many yellow and red cards would be issued. As the 2014 World Cup in Brazil ap- proaches, bookmakers are once again licking their chops. And affiliates should be getting ready to take advantage of what will likely be the best opportunity to ac- quire new depositing players this year. “It spans the entire globe and there’s so much attention on it, that it really is the be-all of sporting events,” said Allan Petrilli, a senior affiliate manager for Income Access. “It’s not just the gam- bling community; it’s also the avid soccer fan and casual soccer fan communities. Everyone watches the World Cup, so the market is just huge.” While the World Cup offers an opportu- nity for experienced bettors to look for value, it also allows an entry point for patriotism. People who rarely wager on sports may take a flutter on a futures bet, or bet on a single game because they want to add some excitement to watching their team play. The most important question affiliates need to answer is where they will send this traffic. Many new punters will look for the best up-front value in the form of free bets. While affiliates might be able to get players to make their first deposit on a site that offers a free bet, they should also be thinking about the long term, espe- cially when their deal offers lifetime rev- enue share. While there will still be plenty of one-off punters in this year’s World Cup, affiliates should be thinking about how they can turn a percentage of those new depositors into long-term players. To do that, Petrilli said affiliates should ask their affiliate managers detailed ques- tions about their customer relationship management (CRM), such as: • What does your CRM calendar look like? • What do you do formy dormant players? • What do you do for my players who register but don’t deposit right away? • How often do you communicate with my players? “Those are questions every affiliate should be asking because they work hard to drive that traffic, and they need to be sure the brand is working equally hard to keep that traffic betting and continuing to stay loyal to their brand,” said Petrilli. Because of the global nature of the event, affiliates can geotarget their audience to build sophisticated campaigns. If you know a visitor is viewing your page from England, that player can see a banner ad that offers up the odds for England’s first game. If you know a player is viewing your site from Germany, you can push an ad that says what the odds are for Germany to win their group. While live, in-game betting was relatively new during the 2010 World Cup, in-play markets are now an essential part of nearly every online sportsbook’s business. Experienced bettors who have become ac- customed to in-play markets will look for value throughout the tournament, said Petrilli. However, newly depositing play- ers may be a little reticent to take on the in-play markets, at least at first. But that can change quickly. “You might have a new guy come on the first day, make a little bit of money and say, ‘Let me explore this a little more,’” said Petrilli. “But that depends on what type of CRM that brand does to push their live betting. If they’re promoting (in-play betting) as one of their big (unique selling points), they’re probably going to have a higher chance to get those guys wagering in-play.” Regardless of who wins this year (Petrilli hopes it will be Italy, though he suspects Spain will once again be very strong), sportsbook affiliates should already be planning for this once-every-four-years event. If they ask their affiliate managers the right questions and have their sites ready to go, this could be a record-breaking summer for affiliates and operators alike. “If an affiliate puts in the work to make sure that all their content, advertis- ing, banners and text links are geared towards what’s going to convert, then they’re probably going to see a return on it,” said Petrilli. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aaron Todd is the GPWA senior editor. He has more than six years’ of editorial experience in the online gambling industry, covering major industry innovations and trends. You can follow him on Twitter @CasinoCity_AT. “While there are still going to be plenty of one-off punters in this year’s World Cup, affiliates should be thinking about how they can turn a percentage of those new depositors into long-term players.” Building better World Cup campaigns