GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 38 - July 2017

Leone Stranges | IGT Partners You’ve worked your way up through the iGaming industry for several years now, starting with an internship with GVC in 2009 and another at Gamologist Limit- ed. What did you learn as an intern that has been most useful to your career? I joined the industry in 2009 while working on my master’s in Italy. The most interest- ing aspect was familiarizing myself with the marketing techniques and software used in the industry. I was lucky enough to spend time with each department, gaining firsthand experience in how they worked and how the various teams synchronized with each other. How has the industry changed since you first joined it? The changes have been substantial – regulation, the drive to online play by poker and bingo players, the birth of new products like DFS and eSports, and the mobile revolution. This has been compounded by the spate of mergers and acquisitions. This innate dynamism is the industry key attraction. You’ve had several jobs in iGaming since those first internships. How does your current position at IGT differ from your earlier roles? What have been the biggest challenges of your current position at IGT? The current position with IGT is simply the result of the experience earned during those different roles in my previous jobs. I have been involved in the marketing and technical processes with start-up projects and with medium and large companies. Thanks to this, my marketing and tech- nical skills have also improved and been enhanced. The biggest challenges are actively contributing to the daily running of the business’s 2017 plan and success- fully leading the affiliate department. Tell us a bit about IGT’s customer base and marketing. What markets do you target primarily? We have a strong mar- keting team and dedicated teams for each channel: SEO, PPC, affiliates, social, CRM and content. We release a constant stream of promotions and tournaments to keep our players engaged. These usually re- volve around key dates or game releas- es. For example, when we launched the Ghostbusters slot, we ran a promo where we sent the winner on a real ghost hunting tour in an old haunted house. Our key market is the U.K., which is an extremely competitive one. Nonetheless, player growth is steady and we are looking forward to expanding to Sweden in the fall, following an imminent upgrade of our games offering. IGT Partners recently went from running five brands to just one (LadyLucks). Please tell us why you decided to fo- cus on the LadyLucks brand. What differentiates it from the others? This decision stems from our desire to run one top tier brand as opposed to multiple “av- erage” ones. Today’s player is much more discerning than in the past, and this has caused us to focus all our efforts on our core LadyLucks brand, keeping in mind that this brand was launched in 2004 and invented the mobile casino space. This assumption is supported by the data, as LadyLucks is by far our best converting and value-creating brand. Describe your role in regards to affil- iates. How much of your traffic is at- tributable to affiliates? My involvement covers all aspects that impact the perfor- mance of the channel, from supporting new and current affiliates to third-party integrations that will allow them to track CPI campaigns through to commission structures designed to maximize the benefit of the new game providers we’re launching. I enjoy having daily contact with our affiliates and working hard with them to convert their players. Each affiliate has different requirements, and each one of them deserves individual attention. I also do my best to meet them face to face at the affiliate conferences, which also fall under my responsibility. As for the share of traffic, this is broadly equally split between organic, PPC and affiliate channels, with the AppStore and paid social making up smaller chunks. IGT Partners offers affiliates 60% rev share for the first three months, then 30-60% rev share with no negative carryover. How did IGT Partners de- cide on this commission model? The 60% rev share is a welcome offer that encourages new affiliates to give Lady- Lucks good exposure in order to learn about the brand’s performance firsthand. This also gives us a clear idea of the traf- fic volumes that an affiliate can drive, and puts both parties in a positon to negotiate a tailored deal once the three months are up. These can be CPA or hybrid deals, or even multi-tier deals. Our focus here at LadyLucks is on on- boarding new affiliates and working out the most equitable deal possible. IGT Partners recently became a GPWA Platinum Sponsor. Why do you feel it’s important to support the GPWA? I have been in contact with the team at GPWA for a while now, and this sponsorship deal was one of my first projects since joining IGT. The key benefit of the forum is the concentration of old and new affiliates who are either actively looking for new partners or simply asking for assistance with a website, promo or the like. This makes for interesting reading, and I do my best to maintain a high level of ac- tivity and am a proud partner of GPWA and APCW. I am a firm believer that this partnership is helping us grow, run and Affiliate Manager Interview Series 68 w w w . g p w a t i m e s . o r g