For this edition of Affiliate Spotlight, we’ve got a special guest for you – Assaf Stieglitz, Owner of betting odds comparison site odds1x2.com.
Assaf established the website off the back of a background in technology, which gave him a unique perspective on how to approach things.
Since it was founded, Odds1x2 has grown a host of sports – ranging from football to UFC and volleyball. Recently, he was part of a panel discussion at the Virtual MARE Balticum Gaming Summit which identified how affiliates are surviving in current global uncertainties.
And without further ado, we’ll let Assaf take centre stage.
Affiliate Industry Review: You mentioned to us that when you first stepped into online casino, it didn’t take off. But now, you’re trying again.
What have you learned from your past endeavours?
Assaf Stieglitz: “Having established odds1x2.com in 2004, our strength was having a knowledge of the sports betting market plus I had an extensive technological background. Naturally, the online casino vertical is a completely different beast to sport betting.
“Previously, we put in extensive research and consulted with experts before launching playwisecasino.com. But still I think that our understanding of this vertical was lacking. We entered a very competitive market and were perhaps too niche by trying to target UK millennials. This market is overcrowded, the entry level is high and we struggled to make an impact.
“We also realised that the vast majority of online casino affiliate sites are pretty much the same scheme of a list of reviews. We moved in this direction, which immediately makes the site more authoritative.
“Going forward we are aiming to be more innovative and create a new user experience, which will put the user at the centre instead of always thinking what Google wants. We are also broadening our focus internationally, and aim to put our efforts in lucrative markets and territories that have less competition.”
AI: What do you think were the main advantages of having a technological background when you set up Odds 1×2?
AS: “I’m a Software Engineer with an extensive technological background and worked for a few start-ups before discovering the iGaming world. As something of an outsider, I think this gave me a fresh perspective on what users would need and the tools they’re going to use beside content.
“My passion for sports and innovation led me to start building a comparison platform that could enable users to make the best decisions when placing a bet, in terms of ROI. We were one of the first companies in the market to offer an extensive odds comparison solution. This was utilised to users through our first site, odds1x2.com, at the beginning of 2004.
“Although other sites have also pioneered odds comparison solutions, there are many companies who acknowledge the complexity of updating millions of pieces of data every few seconds. Therefore, our second hat as a B2B provider of odds comparison solutions means that we can supply a first-class service to top-rated affiliation companies in the market.”
AI: How does having a remote team benefit you and, on the flip side, what are the challenges of managing this?
AS: “As a strategy, from the beginning, we worked on de-centralized mode. We understood that talents are all over the globe and in order to have the best workers for each role, we have to aim for this model.
“Not to mention that by working in such a mode, you can save a lot of overhead budget. I think the main challenge is finding the right people for each role and making sure these talented people are capable of working remotely. As human beings, some might prefer the office space and structure that comes from working in an office.”
AI: And do you think that remote working is going to become even more widespread within iGaming following COVID-19?
AS: “The iGaming industry has already embraced the remote mode, to some scale. We see affiliate managers and developers working remotely in many companies.
“I think this model of working remotely would increase significantly due to the pandemic lessons in almost every industry and more prominently on the iGaming industry which is very much internationalised.”
AI: You’ve mentioned that you think esports will be around for a while, as millennials are more interested in fast-paced events.
Which other verticals do you think will gain a higher interest from millennials in the coming years?
AS: “Esports have been here for a while, but never got the right attention from most operators and affiliates. The lack of understanding of this multi-layered market, along with a conservative approach, only changed when the pandemic acted as the catalyst. Nobody anticipated a time without any sporting events; the industry players that did invest in the esports scene benefited after years of disappointments.
“We’re currently working on a new product for this market, something unique and innovative, as we strongly believe in Esports and think that going forward it would be one of the top verticals in the iGaming industry.
“I would also like to mention virtual sports, which received a great boost during COVID-19. Again, it has the same fast-pace characteristics, which is appealing to millennials and younger generations.
“I think that the sports betting industry is thriving for innovation, disruption and freshness that will be the key to further growth in the future and this pandemic time would be a huge catalyst for new products and new ways of seeing the future.”