After LV Bet announced that it would be extending its current deal with the National League in October, the firm has looked for new ways to connect with local fanbases amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to SBC News, LV Bet Chief Commercial Officer Marcin Jablonski discussed the record breaking amount of National League fixtures screened on BT Sport and how being ‘open and transparent’ has unlocked a new attitude towards the operator partnering with the division.
In what has been a critical interval for the non-league pyramid in the UK, with two lockdown periods putting a temporary halt to amateur football, a number of clubs have voiced their concerns over how they will survive the self-isolation period with no ticketing revenue.
“The National League has been really open and transparent throughout the back end last season and worked with us to ensure we could maximise exposure during the end of last season,” Jablonski, who joined LV Bet in 2019, remarked.
“They worked tremendously hard to ensure the play-offs could be delivered and we received an over delivery in broadcast branding during the National League play-offs including assets at Wembley during the Final.
“With the streaming coverage of matches during the play-offs, we also received additional value where fans were watching the games. In addition to this our digital coverage was leveraged as well which gave extra awareness.”
Additionally, the year 2020 saw the National League play-off final between Harrogate Town and Notts County at an empty and cavernous Wembley Stadium, aired on UK terrestrial television.
“The National League and BT Sport recorded a record number of live matches broadcasted on TV last season with almost 40 matches screened,” he went on to explain. “For us a partner, we receive excellent coverage of branding around the pitch of all of these matches which drive our awareness and reach.
“This coming season BT Sport have already confirmed 14 live matches until the New Year. The viewing figures are rising all the time on BT Sport when they showcase National League matches and this was especially the case for the play-off final in August which delivered a peak audience of 300,000.”
LV Bet has also taken a step into investing in new mental health initiatives. A hot topic of discussion within sport and football, the mental wellbeing of professional athletes has been promoted through social content, including interviews with managers and players as part of the contract which encompasses 68 teams across three divisions.
Jablonski continued: “A key initiative was to promote responsible gambling and positive mental health which was covered throughout our campaign. This season we will continue with our approach to deliver content with players/managers of teams as well as speak with key fan groups.
“We also worked with key influencers in the National League across digital and fan groups who worked well with us and we will repeat this during the coming season. We are also delivering content with Managers of National League teams and sharing with the engaged audience we connect with. This season we have further plans to have a strong dialogue.”