Published: 13 July, 2021

The top positions

Sebastian Jarosch, Head of Affiliates, discusses Betsson Group’s plans for Euro 2020, ahead of what could be the biggest sports betting event in history

At ICE London in early 2020, Betsson Group CEO Jesper Svensson told Gambling Insider he expected Euro 2020 to be the highest-ever grossing sports betting event. A number of other CEOs we spoke to shared that opinion, as excitement permeated not just through football audiences globally but sportsbooks and affiliates anticipating a huge summer. A year on, with Euro 2020 initially postponed, expectations are even greater - as the sports betting public brings a whole extra year of pent-up demand to a Euro 2020 tournament played in the summer of 2021.

For Sebastian Jarosch, Betsson Groups Head of Affiliates, these expectations must be met with action. Read on as the executive tells Trafficology what specific plans the operator has in store for Euro 2020, what the operator is looking for from affiliates and how it plans to retain new players over the course of the event. In addition, Jarosch discusses his thoughts on how a potential European Super League would affect the gambling industry - should it ever come to pass.

How is Betsson Group planning for the Euros? Have you got anything specific in store?
The Euros are one of the key events for Betsson Group this year, together with the Ice Hockey World Championships, Copa America and hopefully the Summer Olympics 2021. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in 2020, but with the cancellation of mass events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Euros were delayed until 2021. This gave us extra time to refine our marketing strategy and we did not stop at that. We launched exciting new products and improved customer experience through multiple new features (including Early Pay Out), bonus offers and several UI improvements. From an affiliation perspective, we want to be present everywhere and get as much exposure as possible for our brands in top positions.
We have a very customer-centric approach at Betsson Group and our central affiliate unit works in tandem with our regional marketing teams on enhanced welcome offers, localised landing pages, newsletters and creatives tailored to the different markets.

What are you looking for from affiliates during the Euros? We are looking for increased visibility on affiliate sites in our markets and of course quality traffic from our partners. The Euros are a great opportunity for us to showcase our fantastic sportsbook product to new customers and we also work hard to provide our affiliates with the right tools to promote us.
Compliance is always a big topic and we work closely with our affiliate partners to ensure we are aligned with the local regulations. There are a number of traffic sources we look into including, of course, such as the traditional sportsbook communities with their bustling forums. Top positions are sought after in these periods and are usually heavy on flat fees.

How do you plan to retain any new traffic/customers you receive during the tournament? Retention is all about having a great product, an outstanding customer experience and excellent support. To top it off, we have a competitive sign-up offer to ensure we are sticking out from the crowd. Our affiliate partners benefit from our dedication towards our players, with great conversion rates and superior player values. Betsson Group is very data-driven, which gives us an edge when it comes to customer retention.
CRM is key for retention and we aim to provide our players with continuous excitement through special offers and promotions. Betsson Group offers a live streaming service to our players for their favourite games and is always developing new product features to spice things up.
We launched our Early Pay Out feature last year, which gives our players the opportunity for an early payout when their favourite team is two goals ahead in a game. The promotion was very well received by our customers and we are going to roll it out to our Ice Hockey fans as well, for the upcoming Hockey World Championships in a similar format.

After the Euros, how would the gambling industry be affected if a European Super League ever came to pass?
The European Super League (ESL) was a hot topic when the idea was first introduced and it upset a lot of fans, football clubs, UEFA, FIFA and even UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The tournament was aimed at providing financial relief to the major football clubs suffering from restrictions during the pandemic.
The ESL wanted to provide the founding teams with guaranteed spots in the competition, which goes against a long-standing tradition in European football. Eventually UEFA and FIFA threatened to ban players from participating in their competitions, including the World Cup, should they be involved in the Super League - putting the project on hold.

The European Super League was meant to exist alongside the current football competitions and would have created additional high-profile games, with some of the best teams battling it out against each other. We would have seen a lot of media coverage and content on affiliate sites around these games. From our perspective as a betting company, we would have invested a lot of budget into advertising and we would have seen a spike in betting during these events. However, with all the negative PR and the outcry in the football community, the Super League is unlikely to ever see the light of day again.