Sean Carr is Dafabet’s eSports Liaison. Having signed a partnership with one of the world’s leading esports organisations, Fnatic, Dafabet is clearly aiming to lead the line in terms of major bookmakers getting involved in this space.
We spoke to Sean about the partnership with Fnatic, being the industry’s sole esports liaison and Dafabet’s plans for the future.
SBC: How many other bookmakers have an esports liaison? What’s your personal background in the industry?
Sean: As far as I know I’m the only person in an esports liaison role for a major betting platform; definitely amongst established betting brands as opposed to the esports first brands. I am responsible for linking Dafabet with potential partners within esports. It’s an important role as Dafabet is committed to being part of the industry and building strong partnerships within it.
As for myself I have been a keen gamer all my life, and played probably too much Counter Strike: Source while I was growing up. I was active in many UK teams and communities and have watched the industry grow into what we see today.
SBC: How was the Fnatic partnership established, how does it work and how are you gauging the ROI?
Sean: Sponsorship is a key part of Dafabet’s marketing mix and an area that the brand understands well so the first step was to identify the best esports organisation to sponsor. A few teams were considered but Fnatic stood out as a leader with strong teams and a powerful global brand. Together we set up the deal quickly as it was important for Dafabet to be the first traditional betting provider to sponsor an esports team.
The sponsorship plays an important role within Dafabet’s brand communications particularly in terms of providing content that lives on dafaesport.com and is distributed via the brand’s social channels. As a result of the partnership, esports fans can access content that they currently can’t get anywhere else. For instance Dafabet and Fnatic will be launching some really exciting video content of the Dota2 team in Kuala Lumpur in the near future.
Dafabet measures ROI of the sponsorship agreement through awareness metrics and appreciation metrics tied to social following and engagement.
SBC: You mentioned the Dafabet microsite (dafaesports.com). How have you sought to spread this via the different esports communities, and is it proving popular so far?
Sean: The views and interest in the content that Dafabet has been publishing on Dafaesports and distributing through social channels is growing all the time. We’ve worked with a couple of high profile esports journalists, who are influential within the community, to create content for the site. Our best piece of content to date was a 2016 League of Legends prediction article written by Duncan “Thorin” Shields.
By working with writers that are influential within the community we not only benefit from their credibility but when they share the content with their own followers we reach new people.
SBC: You currently cover the tier 1 esports in terms of LoL, Dota 2, CS:GO and Starcraft too. Will you be branching out beyond these? Where do you see potential for growth and further betting markets?
Sean: Dafabet will continue to expand the games that it takes bets on as games develop into esports. Whilst we’re sticking to the most popular games for the immediate future, we do occasionally have odds on Hearthstone.
Our current focus is live esports betting as this makes our proposition unique. We’re currently offering live betting on almost every match which is something our competitors aren’t doing. In terms of other betting markets there has been an emergence in P2P services, which allows players to challenge each other for real cash or virtual currency so that’s where I see the potential for growth within the industry.
SBC: How else is Dafabet getting involved in esports? You also sponsor other companies? Will you be hosting tournaments, either LAN or online?
Sean: In addition to sponsoring Fnatic, we sponsor two Thai eSports organisations. In January this year we sponsored a Dota2 event run by Eternal Gaming in Indonesia and plan to sponsor further local events across Asia this year.
A large proportion of Dafabet’s employees are huge esport fans so we have acted to make esports a part of the company culture. In December last year we ran our inaugural Dafabet esports tournament with 16 teams battling it out for first place at the grand final. Hundreds of people came to watch the final and the shoutcaster kept everyone informed and excited about what was going on. We now plan to run at least two tournaments per year rotating the games played so that everyone who wants to can get involved.
The Fnatic Dota2 team visited the office recently to pose for selfies and sign autographs. The buzz and excitement amongst employees was incredible and it’s great to see so many people who work for Dafabet taking pride in the sponsorship of Fnatic!
Keep an eye out for an interview with Fnatic on SBC News next week.