InsiderSport spoke to Viktor Hoffmann Global Marketing Director at VBET, following the brand’s announcement that it had signed a new partnership with English Premiership side, Arsenal.
Hoffman emphasised that the deal includes a host of fantastic opportunities for activations, as well as how exciting it is to be partnered with Arsenal as the club continues its new era under Unai Emery.
InsiderSport: Firstly, can you tell us how much it means to be associated with a club of the stature of Arsenal?
Viktor Hoffmann: It means a great deal for us, not least because Arsenal really is our club and we are big fans. It’s also one of those occasions when the media is the message; sponsoring a tier 1 EPL club like the Gunners sends a message that we are serious, financially robust, regulated and licensed, able to pass rigorous due diligence and generally not a fly-by-night, squirrely newcomer. We’re here to stay and we are not afraid of making long term investments. It means we are a credible new brand that should be part of your small repertoire of trusted betting brands.
The partnership also lets us tell our brand story in the context of another loved brand, with shared values and aspirations. Using Arsenal IP; this is story-telling on steroids!
InsiderSport: What type of activations can we look forward as part of the partnership?
VH: The deal includes a fantastic set of rights that give us opportunities to activate a host of physical and digital assets with high comparable media value to reach large, global audiences; including regions where it is otherwise quite restrictive in terms of available channels and routes to build brand.
I particularly look forward to working with my team on activating the player access rights to create exclusive content. This content will be in demand by a passionate fan audience while also engaging the core football betting target with effortless authenticity and real sports knowledge.
InsiderSport: How can you harness the significant global fanbase of the club, to expand your footprint in new and existing markets?
VH: The deal is exclusive for the betting and gaming category, globally, that in itself is quite rare and enables us to own the narrative and share of voice as Arsenal’s choice in our field.
We planned our launch to coincide not only with the roll out of our new front-ends but also with the release of the league fixtures at a time when traffic across Arsenal’s official platforms were at peak levels.
We used the launch PR opportunity to kick off the partnership with a bang and to start building memory structures in people’s mind that we are connected with a top EPL team, what we do, what we look like and how VBET is positioned in the market around great odds and innovation. We will now continue to consistently build on these associations over time to grow the brand and create market-based assets of our own.
We will deploy Arsenal IP across all relevant marketing materials throughout the customer sales funnel (on site, CRM comms, acquisition creative, affiliates, video, print, OOH, social media, search, SEO/ASO content etc) – this drives reputational uplift, credibility and brand awareness which over time lowers CPAs and lets us reinvest and diversify into more markets, reach and convert more customers.
We include sign-up offers and enhanced odds on dynamic banners and other materials on the Arsenal official channels; and plug into a pre-built audience of millions of social connections.
We place brand messaging on the LED boards, seen by people in the stadium and on TV globally; embedding VBET into prime time TV around pre and post match interviews and official set pieces like ‘The Breakdown’.
We will use experiential assets, money can’t buy hospitality and merchandise as prizes in customer promotions and competitions in our core markets.
Then we activate on match day as well to make VBET part of the experience and excitement of the game; reaching global fans at their most passionate and engaged. We also show a physical presence in and around the stadium and become part of all the excitement there.
Lastly we are keen to collaborate with other Arsenal partners, based around the globe, to create additional value for fans and potential customers; concessions in stadia, co-branded products and promotions. Those other sponsors support our team after all, we have much in common.
InsiderSport: It appears that Arsenal are embarking on a new era under Unai Emery, how much can the club’s success on the pitch impact the benefits of this sponsorship?
VH: Success is a bonus and it increases exposure, interest and airtime even more. Obviously, we hope the club continues to go from strength to strength. But good friends are there in the hard times too, that’s when it matters most, and we are not fair-weather supporters. When the club faces tough competition, and this is arguably the most competitive league in the world, we will be there cheering them on with the rest of the fans, and always adding value.
InsiderSport: Lastly, can you detail a little further your evolving sponsorship strategy for the coming season?
VH: I can’t talk about that in too much detail but suffice to say we are always on the lookout for partnerships that represent good value and a strategic fit. But sponsorship is only one part of the mix, we have many marketing weapons in our Arsenal, pardon the pun.