Shayne Lambie, UK Country Manager at 10Bet, explains the strategy behind the fast-growing operator’s partnerships with EFL clubs Blackburn Rovers and West Brom.
The goal of any ambitious operator is clearly to attract the right sort of long-term customer. Using the momentum we built up prior to and during the World Cup, 10Bet has been able to retain many of the seasonal punters who signed up over the summer, and an essential ingredient of that success has been cementing the company’s status as a serious player on the UK betting scene.
Just before the start of the new season, we put the finishing touches to long-term deals with both Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion, two storied clubs with passionate fans and huge potential in terms of returning to the top flight and restoring their former greatness.
It’s important to note that these are complementary agreements. While we’re the Official Principal Sponsor of Blackburn, we’re the Official Betting Partner of WBA – both of which are global partnerships.
That distinction isn’t merely a matter of our new visual identity being on the front of Rover’s shirts and on the back of the Baggies’ – it means that our activities in the North-west are inevitably more intense than in the Black Country.
The West Brom deal, in other words, is primarily about brand awareness while the Blackburn sponsorship is far more wide-ranging. But signing both agreements was a very deliberate decision.
At 10Bet, we’re fans of the game first and foremost, and if we’d put all our eggs in one basket with Blackburn or a principal sponsorship of a Premier League club, we might have risked being pigeon-holed. By putting down firm roots in Lancashire and West Midlands – two true football hotbeds – we’re telling English fans that we care about the bigger picture.
Blackburn are already proving to be a joy to work with. They’re accommodating in terms of granting access, flexible about schedules, considerate when it comes to looping us on their plans, generous concerning inventory like signed shirts and, above all, receptive to our ideas.
Working with leading activation agencies, we’re looking forward to hosting a wide range of projects, from events in and around Ewood Park to the type of guerrilla marketing that garners national press.
Social media is at the heart of our efforts to reach out to the fans of both clubs. We’ve invested in building the right team to achieve organic growth, especially on Twitter. Engaging the club and particularly the players directly is a winning approach, and it’s always great when the likes of Bradley Dack retweet your posts.
The beauty of social is that it’s a two-way street. The fans aren’t just passive recipients. We love it when supporters ping us with requests for price boosts and special promotions. This is something we actively encourage and is most noticeable on the 10Bet Twitter feed.
Content, however, is always king. What fans want are exclusives like interviews with the manager and the top players, and that’s why we’ve been delighted to leverage our access to provide Q&As with the likes of striker Danny Graham. And as our relationship with the club deepens, we’re looking to line up additional events and to contribute proactively to Blackburn’s overall media strategy.
Along with in-stadium advertising, the matchday programme represents valuable offline real estate. We’re supplying unique editorial content, offer-specific adverts and exclusive app promotions attracting players to our 360° mobile experience – complete with those all-important QR codes, of course.
Meanwhile local media, including fanzines, is another vital part of the picture. At the end of the day, we’re not only building a rapport with the fans. It’s also about the local communities they’re at the heart of.
Bringing in the bettors
Our aggressive onsite strategy prior to and during the World Cup was based on a wide range of special promotions, many of which we’re adapting for the current season. Other offers are built entirely around Blackburn, such as headline monthly club offers and tactical price boosts offering more value to Rovers fans.
These include insurance on our industry-leading, fully automated bet builder Create Your Bet, an outright offer on Blackburn finishing in the top six, free bets triggered by goals for specific players, our ever-popular bore draw cashback and a host of casino cross-promotions, all adding genuine value for the fans.
Working hand in hand with our Business Intelligence department, we’ve even been able to identify significant upsurges in registrations, deposits, promo take-up and overall turnover centred around both Blackburn and West Bromwich.
Although it’s still early days, the numbers we’re seeing and the feedback we’re getting demonstrate that we made the right choice in partnering with Blackburn and West Brom. As the season progresses, we’re backing both clubs all the way and hope to play our part in getting them back into the Premier League.