GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 55 - February 2023

AFFILIATE MANAGER INTERVIEW SERIES GeorgeGerakanakis Novi Affiliates Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and where did you grow up? I come fromCrete, but I grew up in Athens. In the southern suburbs, in a district called Kallithea. It is one of the biggest districts in Athens and I still live there today. You got your start in the industry by working as a journalist before becoming an affiliate manager. Please tell us more about your days as a journalist and why you moved into the iGaming industry. Yes, that’s right. I studied Communication and Media since my dream as a child was to work as a journalist. At school, I would take my pencil, stick the eraser to make a rudimentary microphone and play reporter, broadcasting the games. I started working in 2006 for a betting newspaper and very soon, I was working for the biggest sports paper. At the same time, I worked in radio and other publications until 2014. It’s a fascinating profession. You get to know people, you talk to athletes, politicians, agents that you would otherwise never know. But it is also a very hard profession as I worked seven days a week, almost all day. A journalist’s day starts in the morning. Maybe with an interview, or a story you must cover, then you must go to the office at noon and start putting down on paper all the stories and reports or interviews you have collected. I moved into the iGaming industry completely by accident. I had a friend and colleague, George, who called me one day and said he was opening a betting company in Greece, and asked if I wanted to come. “What am I going to do?” I replied. “You’ll write,” he says, “and you’ll do social media.” And I went. I started off timidly without knowing anything. I knew about sports betting and casino and what they were, of course, but it’s a completely different world between the player and the operator. How has your experience as a journalist helped you in your current role as senior affiliate manager? The answer is simple: communication. The most important thing in journalism is communication. And it helped me develop that skill by meeting and talking to different people. The relationships you build at work are the most important thing. The same in my current role. Apart from the professional stuff, let’s not forget that we are dealing with people, different people that you must reach out to and create relationships so that there is a smooth collaboration. Of course, now after so many years I can say that I am friends with the majority of my colleagues with infinite mutual respect. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 64