Stoiximan, are a tier-1 gaming operator offering top notch products and services via the GameTech entertainment environment. They are also the winner of the EGR awards 2019 “Best mobile operator”. As the market leader in Greece and Cyprus, Stoiximan aims at setting the grounds for the next decade of online gaming, introducing various first-time developments and features, always with an eye on meeting customer needs for over its 7 years of operation.
With this in mind we caught up with Petros Troullinos, Marketing & Communications Manager at Stoiximan for an in-depth chat on how their markets are performing, the rise of millennials, streaming, virtual sports and much more.
Affiliate Industry Review: So, in more depth, what has Stoiximan been doing recently to continue meeting customer objectives?
Petros Troullinos: “During the past four years -or so, the company has managed to heavily invest in the expansion of its product and services to other European countries; Romania, Germany, Austria and, since May 2019, Portugal operate under our international brand name of Betano.
“The mission of this is providing highly localised, top-tier product and services to its members, while becoming part of each country’s sports world via sponsoring.
“Additionally, it is supporting domestic sports clubs, organisations and athletes, as well as blending in with society & triggering actions through targeted & meaningful Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.”
“At Stoiximan/Betano, the Marketing team works and walks hand in hand with the business, increasing markets’ share and thus is fully involved in the company’s overall strategic decision making, while creating, executing and implementing highly converting campaigns and multiplying revenue streams via building and/or enhancing solid brand equities, leading to a powerful brand affinity in all markets of operation.”
Affiliate Industry Review: How important do you believe streaming and virtual sports is becoming as the age of the millennial continues to grow?
Petros Troullinos: “Back in the day, Stoiximan was created in order to fulfil the players’ need to enjoy an entertainment platform designed for players by players and, most importantly, the need for the customer to have a seat at the table and participate in the decision-making process.
“Stoiximan was aiming to build a digital place that would be in direct contact with its members, constantly enhancing, optimising and personalising its product range so as to meet and even exceed the users’ expectations, taking into serious consideration their feedback and input.
“Our feedback loops were wide open and, in somehow less sophisticated ways back then, Stoiximan was always listening and adapting. We were (and we are) the locals in Greece, and we wanted to outflank our prestigious competitors by proving high-paced adaptability by building up our Customer Experience reality.
“The passion for creating and offering a top-notch entertainment environment for our members to browse through and enjoy themselves never fainted. This is why we keep introducing new features and products in our offering with Fantasy vertical, the Bet Mentor feature, our gamified loyalty programme called Missions, just to name a few, while we have re-launched our Casino and Live Casino verticals adding 6 top-notch content providers to our arsenal, numerous game exclusivities and localised Live Casino Tables.
“And all that, heavily supported by targeted, creative and intensive 360 Marketing campaigns vividly communicating our messages via ATL and BTL activations.
“On the other hand, I wouldn’t say that Virtual Sports suggest the first option when it comes to those audiences. To me, Virtuals lie on the threshold of Casino and Sportsbook offering, with users preferring them mainly come from the Casino side of the entertainment spectrum. Virtual sports offer a SportsBook fast-market rationale along with a Casino feeling/ reality that blend together producing a hybrid type of gaming. Therefore, cross-sell opportunities can emerge if you grasp the markets and your users.”
Affiliate Industry Review: How have you targeted the Greek market, and do you believe it may differ from other markets in other countries?
Petros Troullinos: “At Stoiximan/Betano, we find ourselves amidst an expansion, growth mode and one of our main goals for the years to come is to establish the Betano brand in the countries we operate (wherever it has not been achieved yet) and why not to start planning our next international steps. However, as we describe ourselves, we are an international company with high-end localised product and services, investing both in terms of product offering and connections with society in each country of operation.
“Each market has to be treated differently and we strategically enter regulated, or soon to be regulated, markets with uniquely identifiable characteristics. We localise offering a special, tailor-made gaming experience to the countries we operate, custom features to assist our members and catapult their experience while always tending to their needs. Therefore, Greece was actually born out of that need.
“It all began there, as Stoiximan/Betano Group is a 100% Greek company (Betano did not exist at that point) with Stoiximan being the parent brand to all.
“At the same time, Stoiximan created a big portfolio of a wide range of affiliates trusting the brand and its dynamics, promoting to the world and helping them throughout the brand building process.
“Why? Because they saw what we wanted to do. What we wanted to construct. We were systematically listening to their feedback -not finding the time to evaluate and carefully listen to your affiliates’ input and insights is the same thing as ignoring your customers-, affiliates are players themselves after all, great partners and they share tons of valuable input while being in partnership with many great operators out there.”
Affiliate Industry Review: Following the launch of your affiliate program with Income Access in 2017, how has this relationship evolved and blossomed, and how important do you find the involvement of affiliates?
“In order for a company to grow, besides hard work and a strategy, it needs high-quality partners and long-lasting relationships. Business development or… the development of the business is a marathon and during a marathon you will need to be prepared for all those kilometers of “pain” and “suffering”.
“And for that you need dedicated partners. Thus, in 2017, we decided that it was time to leave behind our in-house developed affiliate platform and move onward and partner with a top player in the field offering a tier1 affiliate environment. In 2017, we were market leaders in Greece and Cyprus (Stoximan) and we had reached the top 3 in Romania while having ambitious growth plans in place.
“Affiliates love Income Access as it offers a great variety of analytical, in-depth reporting options that help them optimise their campaigns, increase their conversion rates and eventually revenue in both ends. Of course, the decision of having Income Access as a strategic partner has proven itself already successful for us, but for Stoiximan/Betano our partners come first. Because, as I recently posted on Linkedin, following the end of our presence as platinum Sponsors and exhibitors at Lisbon Affiliate Conference 2019.
“When our partners are happy and everything they need to work on is synced with us, then both parties benefit and long-lasting relationships and collaborations are crafted. But you know, just like as affiliates are… affiliated to us, Stoximan/Betano is affiliated, in a way, to Income Access and, believe me, we have not stopped asking for even more options to be available for use, both standard and innovative fixes, and new ways to better set up campaigns and evaluate them.
“Income Access have found on our behalf an unlimited source of feedback and input, a solid partner who wants to develop along and who is not set for stagnation at any point of each Brand’s life-cycle. We ask for more because we always want to be ahead of things with innovation, passion and responsiveness suggesting the core of our values.”
Affiliate Industry Review: And finally, what is to come from Stoiximan in the near future, any plans for 2020?
“At the moment, as already mentioned, we are the market leaders in Greece, Cyprus and Romania, we launched Portugal 5-6 months ago with the outcome being very promising so far and, we are also operating in Germany and Austria where the competition is fierce and more patience is needed, even if the positive trend is now more than obvious. Local teams and offices in every market we operate are assuming their final shape and structure and, with Euro 2020 concluding the season, it is time to take a step back and support, develop and optimise existing business in every single piece of the puzzle.
“Summer 2020 also comes with Copa America (again) and the Tokyo Olympics, where the Stoiximan Tokyo Team enters the most iconic athletics event of the world with a group of gold medalists and talented, up and coming young champions.
“Therefore, the 9 months remaining till the end of the season will be mainly used for what’s described above, meaning paying attention to all the little details needed to excel in each market, while developing new features and enhancing our product offering both in Sportsbook and Casino (+ Virtual Sports) verticals. However, Q3+Q4 of 2020 will definitely find us planning ahead, evaluating options and tracking down opportunities for new markets and fresh endeavours to pursue.”
Be sure to return tomorrow to see part two of our chat with Vadim Cusnarencu, Marketing Manager for Betano Romania