Fonbet: Why sponsoring European football giants is a ‘step in a new direction’
Image source: Meng Dingbo/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Fonbet: Why sponsoring European football giants is a ‘step in a new direction’

The first few months of 2021 marked a ‘step in a new direction’ for Fonbet as the sports betting operator signed new international partnerships with three football giants: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and AC Milan.

These partnerships, explained Alina Yakirevich – Chief Marketing Officer of Fonbet (pictured below) – have helped the company to interact with new demographics of punters while also building its reputation as a trustworthy, reliable operator.

SBC: What is Fonbet’s global sponsorship strategy?

AY: When it comes to sponsorship, our development strategy is focused on two models. We are partnered with global football leaders — including Real Madrid, Milan and PSG — to help our brand reach a wider global audience.

When we enter a new market, we also focus on developing local sports teams. Our partner in Kazakhstan is the Barys hockey team, and we’re also currently negotiating with leading Belarusian clubs.

In Russia, our general strategy is to sponsor league and national teams (KHL, VTB United League, and the Russian national football team). This keeps us in the media and helps build trust. Plus, we always listen to our clients, which is why we decided to strengthen our sponsorships in football and hockey and we’re now partnering with PFC CSKA and the Spartak and Avangard hockey clubs.

SBC: How can partnerships with big football names like these help Fonbet connect with players placing bets in Russia and the CIS? Will promotions, higher odds and fan engagement play a role in this?

AY: In terms of our current and potential customers, large international partnerships like these are a clear signal that we’re a major and reliable betting company. We enjoy the right to use player images, “official club partner” status, and the club logo in our advertising package. 

We also have digital options for placing banners, options on social media, co-activation rights, and standard options (autographed merchandise, etc.). Clubs also partner with us to further their own goals, i.e. increase the size of their fan base. We’re already in dialogue with them about joint activations. 

We’re interested in all types of activities involving exclusive content and competitions with fans and promotions. We also have a lot of channels via partnerships with major media sources and bloggers. Plus, of course, our bookmakers focus on a unique line for matches involving our partner clubs. 

SBC: How have your partnerships helped support Fonbet’s global expansion strategy?

AY: We mainly sponsor leagues and national teams, like the KHL, VTB United League, Russian national football team, and the Russian national futsal team. This ensures our media presence and helps build trust. However, we also don’t have a single predominant association with any one club. That means there’s no negativity from fans of a particular team. 

This year, we took the first step in a new direction to sponsor three giants of European football at one time. Our goal is to consolidate our position in football. The effectiveness of any sponsorship depends on the club’s success. 

Before we took any final decision, we analysed media coverage as well as championship prospects, and also consulted our analysts. The fan bases of PSG, Real Madrid and Milan are some of the largest in the CIS, so we saw the opportunity to interact with a previously unreached audience that follows and supports them. 

SBC: Can we expect any partnerships with other big teams in the coming months?

AY: We’re definitely exploring ways to expand our sponsorships, and we’re currently in negotiations with several large clubs, but we can’t disclose any details ahead of time.

SBC: What should we be expecting to see from Fonbet before the end of 2021?

AY: 2021 is the year of the UEFA Champions League, so we have a lot of surprises in store for both the industry and our customers. We can’t reveal all our secrets right now because things are still in the works. Once everything will be ready we can’t wait to show you. 

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