Affiliate Spotlight shines a light on the key figures and latest affiliate sites from around the world.
This week we chat to Danny Campbell from The Sportsman, one of the most recognisable sports betting affiliates around.
Affiliate Industry Review: Can you begin by introducing The Sportsman as a company and outlining what it brings to the affiliate space.
Danny Campbell: The affiliate space has been getting progressively tougher over the last four to five years. Market saturation, compliance, tracking gaps on Mobile App registrations and multiple other issues have all negatively impacted new account acquisition (certainly being seen by a large number of affiliates that I speak to).
Our new Sportsman domain is aimed at moving away from being solely an acquisition based traditional affiliate site, lessen our risk to various industry trends and open up alternative revenue streams. The aim is to instead provide advertisers with a branding exposure opportunity to a wider audience and to provide a retention element to the marketing we run for partners.
AI: What are the key ingredients when it comes to running a successful sports betting affiliate?
DC: Patience is a key characteristic of the more successful affiliates. Quite often decisions made on new domains or changes to existing ones, will not bring an instant return. A lot of affiliates that I have seen come and go over the years have expected success far too quickly and given up when it’s not been immediate.
The willingness to adapt and change your business approach is also a massive part of being a successful sports affiliate. The industry changes all the time with new technologies, product channels and traffic sources emerging constantly. Failing to adapt as the industry changes can be highly detrimental.
AI: What does it mean to be a super-affiliate? How does this affect your approach?
DC: The super-affiliate companies that have established themselves at the head of the market have investment levels, marketing budgets and staffing resources that are simply astounding in comparison to the bulk of traditional affiliates from several years ago.
The emergence of such super-affiliates has certainly forced other affiliates to raise their games. I actually find competing against companies with infinitely more resources a welcome challenge. It forces business strategy changes and highlights the need to avoid remaining stationary.
AI: The US affiliate market remains relatively untapped. How can you take advantage of this?
DC: The US market is an interesting challenge for the UK and European affiliates. There can be little doubt that it’s a potentially extremely lucrative target, but the mystery factor is the speed at which States can offer market conditions that are favourable for the online affiliate business model. Multiple states are passing legislation to allow sports betting, but not necessarily online betting straight away.
I think the US market is going to rapidly evolve over the next two to three years and we will ultimately end up with the largest legally regulated market in the World. The best placed affiliates to reap the rewards are going to be those that can afford to invest now in new sites and infrastructure but not expect an immediate return. This will be our approach to the market.
AI: Looking ahead to the remainder of 2019 and beyond, what can we expect from The Sportsman?
DC: We are two years into the project now and site traffic and social reach are considerably ahead of target. With the backing of the Done Group we are in an extremely fortunate position where we can continue our growth first strategy.
The Sportsman will continue its strategy to become a multi-channel sports information site. There are huge number of new aspects to the site and its external social channels planned for the next 12-18 months and i’m expecting it to be an exciting period of development. Considerable staffing elements have been added to the company and we have recently recruited a new, vastly experienced, Editorial Director who will be announced shortly to aid the development of the brand.
For our final podcast of the season, Lee-Ann is joined by Jared Fuller and Isaac Morehouse: co-founders of PartnerHacker.