GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 27 - February 2014

AFFILIATE MANAGER INTERVIEW SERIES Gavin Walters of bet365 and Jamie Edwards of ComeOn! enjoy their work, which is obvious when you read what they have to say about their programs, both of which are highly regarded both by players and affiliates. These guys are hard workers, and they play hard, too. For example, Gavin will soon head to Las Vegas, where he will attend a stag party that could well turn into something right out of the Hangover movies. And Jamie’s idea of a good time involves the participation of a couple of Playboy bunnies. Read on! MEET THE AFFILIATE MANAGERS Your first job in the online gaming indus- try was with bet365, and you’ve stayed with them for more than five years. Tell us about how you came to work there and the different roles you’ve had within the company. My career at bet365 came about a little by chance by being at the right place at the right time. It was dur- ing my graduation day. A member of the Coates family was receiving an honorary degree. He began to talk about bet365 and the early success the business had during his speech, and that made me immedi- ately decide that I wanted to explore op- portunities at bet365. Fortuitously for me I was accepted into their graduate pro- gram, in which I spent two years on rota- tion throughout the company, giving me insight and experience in the individual departments that make up the bet365 op- eration. After spending time with the af- filiate marketing team I decided that this was where I wanted to begin my career in the gambling industry and I have not looked back. This role suited my back- ground in terms of education and interests and I now know I made a great decision. You were previously the affiliate man- ager for games and bingo, but are now working more with sportsbook affili- ates, correct? What are the differences in promoting the two gaming verticals? What new challenges are you finding in promoting the sportsbook? Do you miss anything about games and bingo? Yes, at the beginning of 2013 I moved from a gaming-specific base of affiliates to sportsbook affiliates. I had previously worked very closely with sportsbook affili- ates in my gaming role as numerous affili- ates do promote across multiple verticals. In addition to this, my experience before my affiliate manager role was purely sportsbook too, so my knowledge of this product was broad and deep. I also welcome challenges and enjoy these as part of my role. There will always con- tinue to be challenges as I like to be proac- tive and try to push boundaries. My com- petitive nature is often the drive behind this and as I love challenging myself, it is no surprise that such challenges occur, but I equally enjoy overcoming them each time. The main thing I miss about games and bingo is the monthly element of deals; ev- erything pretty much ranmonth onmonth and I found this particularly beneficial with my style of working. Of course I also miss the affiliates and the chance to work with them and share many a good night with them at events and conferences. How important is live streaming to the sportsbook product? How much more is wagered on events that have live streams, compared to those that do not have live streams available? Live streaming is a big part of the bet365 sportsbook product. bet365 continues to secure more live streams and now offers an industry-leading amount to our play- ers. This currently stands at over 50,000 events per year. As a rule we do tend to see more turnover on events that are live streamed. One of the reasons for increased turnover is the changing opinions of players as the event progresses. A pre-match opinion can quickly change after just five minutes and with this often comes a further bet. But the key factor to aid increased turnover GAVIN WALTERS bet365 Affiliate Manager Interview Series