Simona Pinterova: Taking EnergyBet services into the Lions’ Den

EnergyBet is the main club sponsor for Leyton Orient FC and the official in stadia betting partner for Championship club Millwall FC.

Last month, we spoke to the Malta-based operator, whose affiliate partner scheme landed a prize at the recent SBC Awards, about focusing its Leyton Orient partnership on quality fan interactions.

As the football season approaches the busy festive schedule, we sat down with Simona Pinterova, PR and Media Manager at EnergyBet, to discuss differences between the two deals, exclusive promotions for Millwall fans, and the impact of Sky Bet’s reinforced EFL position.

SBC: How did you set expectations for this in-stadia partnership, compared to the front-of-shirt deal you have with Leyton Orient?

SP: It’s difficult to compare the two really, because whilst the front-of-shirt deal with Leyton Orient certainly gets our brand at the centre of the action, Millwall is in a different league (in more ways than one).

The matches at the Den command a much bigger audience, and the in-stadia betting partnership allows us to interact with fans, and introduce them to our services very effectively.

SBC: How do you ensure that competitions and promotions remain exclusive to Millwall fans; does this even matter if you are taking on new customers?

SP: The competitions and promotions that we run specifically for Millwall fans mostly only get discovered by Millwall fans in the first place (in-stadia promotion, social media tags etc.), and the prizes are usually something Millwall related, so it’s not really an issue. But, at the end of the day, we want new customers, so everyone is welcome to take part.

SBC: What do you make of Sky Bet’s EFL position; will operators be forced to look to other leagues and markets to allocate sponsorship spend?

SP: The sheer muscle of Sky means their move to further entrench their position in the EFL came as no surprise. Sure, operators will be looking at other leagues and markets to sponsor, but we don’t really see this as a negative. There are plenty of other sponsorship opportunities out there, and we welcome Sky’s commitment to take the lead and highlight responsible gaming during their sponsorship of the EFL.

SBC: Finally, the possibility of PASPA repeal in the United States is a hot industry topic; how well placed are EnergyBet to make a move in this market?

SP: In all honesty, EnergyBet does not really see the US as a priority right now. Even if PASPA is repealed, there remain very significant challenges for anyone looking to profit from online sports betting in the US. Whilst the potential market is, without doubt, huge, so are the pitfalls.

Socially, sports betting has a very different image in the US, and things are going to vary considerably from state-to-state. Anyone looking to get a sizable chunk of the American sports betting market will need to have pockets deep enough to allow for a lot of experimentation before they find the right formula.

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