GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 32 - June 2015

The team will take you to school on sportsbook affiliate marketing When did you launch your sites? We organized as a team in 2010, but the Portuguese betting academy web- sites were launched in April 2012. The Brazilian version launched after Aug. 2014, and later, in Feb. 2015, we added the Spanish- and English-language versions to the portfolio. How did you and the people on your team become involved in the industry? We all lived in the same city (Porto, in northern Portugal). While we were not all friends before we teamed up, all the initial team members had friends in common. We came from different areas, and each one of the initial five brought unique abilities to the team: We have a profes- sional sports betting trader well known in Portugal, an experienced webmaster in particular in the gaming area, an expert and a junior programmer, and a project manager with planning skills. That was our initial team — very heterogeneous and also highly motivated! How long did it take for you to start earning money? In the beginning we didn’t invest too much in the website, and it took us four or five months to earn our first €50. During that period we felt like we were working in the dark, without any certainty, and making some mistakes along the way. When we started this Academy project, we had already had some months of hard work and a lot of know-how. But since the beginning of the initial project in 2010, it took us almost four years to reach the break-even point and to start earning some money for real. Are you a standalone shop or are you part of a larger organization? This is a tricky question. We are still a small orga- nization with only a few websites, but we intend to become a larger organization and have a lot more websites! We already consider ourselves big in our market, be- cause we grew very quickly in comparison to older and more established websites in Portugal. One of the unique selling points of your site is your tipsters competition, where you have more than 11,000 members competing for prizes. How long have you been running the contest? Did you ever expect that it would be this successful? The current tipster competition we have in place resulted from several months of planning and programming. We launched this tipster competition scheme together with the new Academy platform in 2012, as this was one of the key functions we wanted to have ready for the newwebsite. When we launched the Academy website, we already had a forum community from the previous website, and almost every- body started using the tipsters competi- tion from day one. This tipster competition has a double function: • Users can test their betting skills with- out risking money — it is an amusing game that simulates reality. • The best tipsters can win prizes without risking any money. We wanted to build something very easy to use, and we were happy with the result, so we expected every member to use it. During the entire project’s life we've al- ways had more qualitative objectives than quantitative ones. We want to build everything perfectly, but we don’t aim to achieve a certain number of users on that new function. We plan new func- tions for our website based on the glob- al user needs, so we know that the new function will be used by a good number of members. It's one thing to run a contest; it's an- other thing to monetize it. The prizes in your tipsters contests are given as cash to players' sportsbook accounts. In some cases, you require players to have a player's account tagged to your site in order to claim the prize. In oth- ers, players are not required to have an account tagged to your site. Can you explain the reasoning for the different requirements? We award almost €4,000 in prizes each month, and the differences between the contests are related to each bookmaker requirement, as they have different approaches and different prize payment methods. In some cases they al- low the contest to be run for everybody with a betting account, but in most cases they like to separate the affiliates and only allow the contest between each affiliate’s clients. There is no specific reason for that; it has only to do with the deal made with the bookmaker. All four of your sites are sportsbook sites. Any plans to branch out? Right now we have no plans to diversify out of the sportsbook affiliate market, as we still have so many ideas yet to be developed here. It makes sense for us right now to focus 100 percent of our attention on this market. But that doesn’t mean that we will not move into other markets in the future. How difficult is it to run sites in several languages? Do you and your team all speak the languages utilized by your sites? Or do you have to hire translators to do some of that work for you? We have translators working for us, and yes we speak all four languages. After launching our Portuguese site, we decided to first move to the Brazilian website, as that is a twin language. After that first experience GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES PEDRO & TEAM academia GPWA Affiliate Interview Series