GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 45 - October 2019

When I joined the company back in 2012, we had maybe 50 affiliates. Now we have hundreds actively earning commissions. With the privilege of knowing that we own the first online bingo site in America, I’m honestly very proud of the company, what it is and what it has become over the years. What are the main responsibilities of your job as mar- keting director at Vista Gaming? I started as a marketing director fromDay 1 and trust me, this was a big challenge, as there was so much to learn. All the brands were new to me, including bingo. I didn’t have a clue about online bingo. My background was sportsbook and casino. Bingo is more complex than you might think, but I came with my mind set on how I was going to make the bingo players’ journey better and how the house was going to be able to provide better retention and conversion. My work starts with affiliates, and we tailor everything to suit that specific affiliate right from the start. This includes the best affiliate deal according to their target geolocation. I might not appear to be contacting affiliates on a daily basis, but behind the scenes I’m there every step of the way. If they need me, they know where to find me. I am very accessible, and I respond quickly as I know that affiliate traffic is the key to growth. You’ve been at Vista Gaming for more than six years. In the iGaming industry, remaining at one company for an extended period of time is unusual. Can you explain why Vista Gaming has been such a great fit for you and your career? I simply think that it was meant to be. I found a home and I believe in the company, and more importantly, that they have a great product that is unique. And I believe in the brands. The casino project was something that Please tell us about your background. Where are you from and how did you find your way into the iGaming industry? I’m from Costa Rica, the land of paradise and gam- bling. Costa Rica is still hot nowadays and is the home base of hundreds of sportsbooks and casinos. My first step into iGaming was back in 1999. I was given my first job as a customer rep at 5Dimes casino and sports betting when I was only 18 years old. I left for few years and moved to the U.S. to study at university. After that, Imademy way straight back into the industry with a job at another online gambling site. I grew there and stayed for many years, moving from the QA department to affiliates (agents) supervisor. I became a big fan of horses, even managing to run the horse department. I have always been hungry to learn, and I have had great friends every step of the way. My bosses became my friends, and they saw a young womanwith potential whowas not willing to stop. Imanaged to become a line runner for a couple of years until I decided to focus more on the marketing part, trying to improve the company’s overall performance. We needed to see how we could make the player experience better, and that’s why I decided to take a new direction in my career. And how did that turn out? I went and studied psychology to understand people better and, in turn, provide our customers a better playing journey. We started modifying our customer service department; our reps became more knowledgeable and covered more areas. The player journey starts from the signup and not from the first deposit, so I simply became involved in all aspects of the player journey. No matter how many pieces or departments you try to break it down into, they all connect within the cycle and must work together. The owner made me his right hand, and I thank him for that. Fabiola Olaso Vista Gaming Affiliates For this issue, we sat down with two fantastic affiliate managers: Fabiola Olaso of Vista Gaming Affiliates and Niklas Fagerstrom of Betwinner Affiliates. Though they had very different career paths, they’ve both excelled at what they do and worked their way up in the industry to become affiliate managers. Here, they fill us in on how they got where they are, what their respective programs can do for affiliates, and how they approach working with affiliates to make sure everyone’s making money. Though they’re based 6,000 miles away from each other, both Fabiola and Niklas are big believers in the importance of face- to-face communication with affiliates at conferences and other industry events—so at your next conference, take a look around for them and don’t be shy! Meet the Affiliate Managers AFFILIATE MANAGER INTERVIEW SERIES G P W A t i m e s . o r g 60