17 March, 2023

Raising the bar: Tipico Sportsbook discusses its US engagement plans

From Tipico’s pull-up bar competition to its hyperlocal focus, Ohio Market Manager Phil Goldfarb speaks about Tipico Sportsbook’s US plans for engagement

To begin, how did the Arnold Sports Festival go?

It was fantastic. It was truly everything that we projected for the event and our partnership. It’s a very long weekend. The competition started early. We were there pretty much from Friday morning through late Sunday evening, so it was exactly what we wanted to see out of a partnership. A full, full weekend event. It was a lot of fun.

That’s good to hear. Were you targeting a specific audience while you were there?

You know, it’s interesting. I think when we first started thinking about the partnership with the Arnold Festival, the approach from day one was always: how do we tell our story with the Ohio audience? This really gave us an opportunity to talk to over 100,000attendees over the weekend, with a majority of them being local Ohio residents. We really wanted to engage with everybody who represented Ohio and everybody there was interested in learning about the sportsbook. But I think like all brands, when the engagement starts happening with customers, we start seeing a mirror image of who our targeted customer is. Primarily it’s going to be males 21 to, say, 35-38. We had an opportunity to engage with the majority of them throughout the weekend.

And while you were there, did you see any kind of an increase in bets on any of the more non-traditional sporting events, like the ones that took place at the Arnold Festival?

We did. It was interesting that the weekend actually overlapped with UFC 285. There are also over 60 events that take place at the Arnold Festival. A lot of the folks that were coming up and talking to us were interested, engaging with our products and registering with Tipico Sportsbook, just so they could have an account ready to place bets on UFC that evening. We saw an incredible increase of new customers coming through over the weekend and real-time betting taking place. People wanted to register and take advantage of this incredible offer that we had for customers live at the event: ultimately putting money, and placing wagers, on an event that is happening in real time on Saturday night.

We wanted to be the sportsbook that really represents the passion for sports fans of Ohio

As a European sportsbook, how do you plan to stand out in the US market as you enter?

For us the pillars and strategy really remain the same. Before we officially launched on January one, the approach was always to stay hyperlocal. We wanted to be the sportsbook that really represents the passion for sports fans of Ohio. So for us, it was a foundation of building a very strong and memorable brand, but also staying local. Those, to us, are really the key pillars: hyper locality and emotion around sports with Ohio sports fans.

I know you mentioned hyper locality, but do you have any other states in the pipeline? There are four you’re in currently, correct?

Correct. We’re always exploring. Four currently, but I think we are looking at what’s next for Tipico. When I talk about the pillars, and being hyperlocal and understanding the emotional connectivity with sports fans, that will be our approach now as we evaluate markets. But we’re incredibly excited to be in Iowa, albeit prioritising Ohio. This is a key market for us. We’re truly going all in.

As far as ‘going all in’ with other events, are there any other events you have coming up, or any other partnerships, like what you did with the Arnold festival?

It’s interesting. I would more or less describe the Arnold as a standalone event and weekend festival. But we built our partnership strategy. We really have a share of the voice that will be a full calendar for us in Ohio. For a whole weekend, we were at the Arnold festival Friday, Saturday, Sunday. On top of the event for the weekend, we have an incredible partnership with the Columbus Crew, Major League Soccer. They had their first home game of the year recently. So now we were in front of 100,000 attendees at the Arnold Festival throughout the weekend, and we were also able to get in front of another 20,000 passionate sports fans with our exclusive partnership with Columbus Crew. When we talk about that partnership, Columbus Crew represents us as a brand. It’s an international sport, being football, but with ties to this community passion for sports. There’s something very unique about how we partner with Columbus Crew and that partnership really gives us longevity through the calendar year. They’re going to be playing through October and potentially with Major League Soccer Playoffs throughout the year.

And you’re going to be with them.

We’re going to be with them throughout the entire course of the season. Beyond that, we’ve established partnerships with some of the more local credible brands. This ranges from local restaurants and breweries throughout the state of Ohio.

Anywhere sports fans are being passionate and spending their time.

Truly. I think, for us, the number-one focus is Ohio as a whole. But then how do we divide and conquer? We see Columbus as the bullseye and what we wanted to accomplish in the state, really being the epicentre of all things Ohio sports, if you will. But we are just as active in Cleveland, and in fact, in Cincinnati. We have an amazing partnership with a brewery called Rhinegeist Brewery, and that partnership allows us to activate and create experience year-round with sports fans, specifically around Cincinnati sports. It gives us a voice in every market, and it gives us experience and activity in every market where sports fans are really itching to participate and engage with us and the sportsbook.

Speaking of creating that experience, our last question is whether you knew what the record was for your ‘pull-up– cash in’ game that you did at the Tipico booth at the Arnold Festival!

We had multiple people last a full 60 seconds. The challenge was if you can rip and remain in the full pull-up position for 30seconds, you receive a bonus bet credit. We had multiple people not only hit the 30-second threshold, but the 60-secondthreshold. We ended up pivoting, and we were able to change the contest to challenge people and see how many pull-ups they could do in this 30-second window. We had people do over 40 or 50 pull-ups in a 30-second span, which was incredible to witness live. But this is why they’re there.