The future potential of sports marketing for UK betting stakeholders has been cast into doubt by recent decisions by both the Premier League and government. This has not deterred Kindred, however, which renewed its partnership with Scotland’s Rangers FC.
Unibet, the group’s sportsbook brand, recently took over the reins from Kindred’s casino operator 32Red as Rangers’ primary partner. To gain more insights into deal and the significance of sports marketing for Kindred’s social responsibility goals, SBC spoke to Jamie Moniz, Kindred’s UK Marketing Manager.
How significant is sports marketing for promoting and achieving Kindred’s Journey to Zero target?
Utilising and leveraging sport is a vital part of bringing our Journey towards Zero and other sustainability ambitions to life. Sport sponsors have a unique link to communities, places and people – presenting a huge opportunity to make a difference.
At Kindred, we took the decision a few years ago to launch a new model of football club sponsorship – one that means investing in the local community, as well as the club. And we know that, by leveraging our assets for good, we can continue to promote healthier, safer gambling to fans and beyond.
Is professional football the ideal way to signpost people to Unibet’s responsible betting and safer gambling tools?
Absolutely. We’ve rolled out our Zero% Mission branding over the last 12 months – and combined with our wider approach of utilising safer gambling messaging across our LED and front of shirt sponsorships (for example Rangers’ kit last season had ‘Set Your Limits’ underneath our logo) – we’ve started to see some really encouraging signs.
For example, there has been a significant increase in the voluntary use of safer gambling tools on our platform – highlighting that we can have a positive impact on customer behaviour by leveraging our advertising and sponsorships with safer gambling messaging.
What was the reason behind swapping 32Red for Unibet on Rangers shirts?
We’ve utilised both Unibet and 32Red brands across a number of our sponsorships in British sport over the last few years – and felt it was a good time to use Unibet this season as we drive forward our wider strategy to bring both brands to the public.
Looking back on the partnership, what would you say have been its biggest achievements?
We are hugely proud of our work and with Rangers over the last 10 years. The club has been on a journey and we’ve been delighted to be right alongside them – supporting them through the highs and lows.
From promotion back to the SPFL and then the title win, the Europa League final and our groundbreaking approach to safer gambling messaging and men’s mental health support via the clubs team talk initiative, there is a lot for us to be proud of.
How will Unibet cooperate with Rangers to promote social responsibility throughout the SPFL 2023/24 season?
We have some exciting plans in place to continue driving forward our model of sponsorship to ensure there is benefit to the club and its community. We have proudly supported the Rangers Charity’s Team Talk project for the last couple of years – ensuring men have a place to go and talk if they are struggling with their mental health. We’ll be sharing our plans in the coming months.
Do you have any concerns about the future of partnerships such as this deal with Rangers in light of the White Paper and English Premier League sponsorship vote?
There is a huge responsibility on operators like ours to show the value we can bring to football clubs and the wider ecosystem in sport as a partner. By ensuring our sponsorship provides more than just a front of shirt or title naming, we can continue to highlight that there is a legitimate and ongoing role for licensed, responsible gambling operators to be involved in football and wider British sport.
Can you give us a breakdown of what tools are available to your customers?
For all of our players, our Zero% Mission is enabled by our innovative Player Safety Early Detection System (PS-EDS). That system monitors player behaviour in real-time against the industry-standard criteria of harmful gambling behaviour (DSM-5).
So, for example, if a player begins to chase their losses with increasing numbers of bets, at anti-social hours (for example late at night) and is visiting the bonus pages more often than normal, our system would begin flagging against at least three of the criteria included in the DSM-5.
On top of that, we then have a range of tools available for customers to utilise – from deposit limits, reality checks, product blocks, time outs and more. These allow our customers to remain in control of their gambling behaviour – and over the last couple of years we have seen a large increase in the use of these tools, with over half of our customers now voluntarily having at least one on their account.