GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 32 - June 2015

Starting a brand from scratch can be exciting, but also a bit daunting. It's a challenge that Stefan Berak from Favourit and Christine from Condor Affiliates took head on, and they're not looking back. Stefan has been with Favourit from the start. An "unashamed Jean-Claude Van Damme" fan, he says affiliates who promote the program benefit from the social nature of the product. Christine says that b-Bets is also innovating the industry, as the site gives players the ability to bid on the type of bonus they'd like. She says the best way to grow in this industry is to create positive long-term relationships with affiliates. MEET THE AFFILIATE MANAGERS You've been with Favourit since the site launched three years ago, and be- fore that you were the social media manager for Favourit's parent compa- ny, Agility Interactive. Tell us how the site has grown and changed since you started. Favourit was born out of Agility Interactive's (a part of TOTE Tasmania) strategy to develop the next generation of sports betting technologies for players worldwide. Originally, the platform was intended to operate under the parent com- pany’s own operations and sportsbook; however, the management buyout of the Favourit business by Chief Executive Toby Simmons and Head of Technology Josh Simmons led the company in a new direction. As a result, the Favourit business launched its own sportsbook product in partnership with technology provider EveryMatrix in Nov. 2014. The Favourit platform is the first of its kind – a truly social, engaging, real-money sportsbook licensed in the U.K. and Malta. Our cus- tomer base has grown quickly, and we are proactively working with a number of leading affiliate partners so we can pro- vide more content and player engagement strategies than traditional sportsbooks. Before signing onwith Agility Interactive, you were a marketing coordinator for REA Group, a digital business specializ- ing in property. What do the real estate market and the online gambling indus- try have in common? What are the major differences? Interesting question! I think the most obvious comparison to make is that in Australia, sport and property are by far the most popular topics of conver- sation, and that leads to countless content opportunities. From a financial perspective, the main dif- ference between gambling and real estate is the actual business model. The main fo- cus at REA Group was delivering as many eyeballs as possible due to the two main revenue streams, which were agent sub- scriptions and media sales. I believe the gambling industry is more transaction focused, looking at convert- ing every single person into a depos- iting player who bets, redeposits and bets again. You studied business marketing at RMIT University in Melbourne. Did you grow up in Australia? I was born and bred in Melbourne. My parents settled in Australia in the 1980s from the old Yugoslavia and quickly settled into the Australian way of life. Beach, shorts and footy quickly became family favorites. Favourit is an online sportsbook that combines social, play-money betting with real-money betting. Players in ju- risdictions where you don't allow real- money wagers (the U.S., for instance) are able to make play-money bets with "Favourit Caps," while punters in the U.K. can deposit and make real-money bets just like any other online sports- book. Walk us through the reasoning for this strategy. Do you think it's working so far? The original intention of Agility Interactive's strategy was to build a glob- ally scalable and regulation-compliant platform that included the ability to bet with a fully automated virtual currency in markets that were not regulated for real- currency betting. Thus far this strategy has proven to be successful, with our player base growing internationally, which pres- ents a great opportunity for affiliates of all jurisdictions. What percentage of your players are play-money players only? Do you have any way to monetize these players out- side of them becoming real-money play- ers? Our marketing activities and, sub- sequently, database are heavily oriented toward real-money regulated markets, in particular the U.K. Our focus is on build- ing a high-growth, profitable operation which, in turn, allows us to reinvest in emerging markets that may have a mon- STEFAN BERAK Favourit AFFILIATE MANAGER INTERVIEW SERIES Affiliate Manager Interview Series