MIÉ 23 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 2020 - 15:45hs.
Frédéric Fausser, firm’s CEO

“Samba Agency has European clubs interested in partnerships with Brazilian bookmakers”

Samba Agency, a US firm specialized in brand activation, digital strategy and partnerships, works with renowned international brands such as PSG, F1, Liverpool, Manchester City and Bundesliga. At the local level, it already helps to set up the partnership between Evair, Guarani and LeoVegas and actions with influencers in BetMotion. In exclusive interview with GMB, Frédéric Fausser, CEO and founder, assures that the big European clubs today have more fans in Brazil than several Serie A teams. “Our goal is to establish this connection between the two parts,” explains Fausser.

GMB - Samba Agency is a worldwide recognized agency. Let’s talk about the services that it offers in the Brazilian market?
Frédéric Fausser
- Samba is a US agency with a local presence in Brazil and Latin America. We offer customers content and localized initiatives to increase brand visibility and conversions in various markets. We work with major international brands like PSG, Formula 1, Liverpool, Manchester City or Bundesliga.

In the presentation of the Agency, there is a presence of resources for digital services and public relations in Brazil. What do these digital services offer to the local market?
We believe that a creative digital strategy is fundamental to the success of an international brand in a new and competitive market such as Brazil. It's not just about the content, but the way you use the content you create. You need to understand your audience perfectly, have a strong relationship with influencers, media or brands to activate your content and always focus on performance through detailed KPIS. Video production, storytelling and content segmentation are our main focus in Samba.

Could you tell us about recent actions and campaigns that you carried out in Brazil?
We always use the power of offline activations to leverage our customers' digital presence. Last year, we proposed to PSG to sponsor a block at Carnival; we had a great return with more than 40 media involved in sharing the initiative. We also organized a unique experience in Paris for the UCL (UEFA Champions League) in partnership with Esporte Interativo, with a result of 500,000 qualified leads generated through a contest. We are also helping to produce local video content for the Bundesliga and Manchester City in Brazil. In terms of betting, we set up a partnership between Evair / Guarani and LeoVegas, actions with influencers in BetMotion, in addition to producing video tutorials because the market also needs to be educated.

Since the legalization of sports betting, how much has the interest of these sites grown in the Brazilian market based on the experience of Samba?
We are already helping several bookmakers because we know the Brazilian audience perfectly and how a foreign brand must proceed in order to reach the market efficiently. For now, we see many initiatives, but little creativity. It will certainly be the great challenge of the major betting brands that have not yet entered the market.

We always have the idea that bookmakers are looking for clubs or ambassadors for brand actions, but this is also happening the other way around, right? Are clubs and personalities needing betting sites to come closer to sign deals?
I see that clubs today have few resources and structure to explore international brands. Most deals were made through intermediaries or the bookmaker directly. For me, the results are far from expected because the clubs are not yet concerned with properly activating their partners. They are in "survival" mode. This is where our agency comes in and helps from the beginning to define a real activation plan that involves, for example, the club's digital platforms.

Betting sites have very popular and powerful clubs as customers all over the world. Do they express their interest in Brazil? Are they looking for local bookmaker sponsorships to generate more engagement?
Yes, there are several European clubs that are currently interested in closing a regional sponsorship with a bookmaker. Big European clubs today have more fans in Brazil than many big Serie A clubs. Our goal is to establish this connection between the two parts.

What are the brand actions and services that bookmakers are most looking for in your agency?
Digital production, consulting and campaign ideas to activate the brand.

Do you think that the biggest bookmakers in the world that have not yet arrived in Brazil will do it in a massive way after regulation?
I think so because Brazil is a massive market. But I also see the importance of clubs and agencies evolving to deliver a qualitative service with results.

Today we see a boom in sponsorship from large, medium and small companies from around the world in state championships, clubs, stars ... but is this a kind of "fashion" or is it a mature and normal growth that will continue? As an expert, what is your market vision for the future?
Most Brazilian clubs have economic problems. They put a lot of brands on the shirt for 3 months ... When the state championships are over, there are no more calendars, the players are unemployed. There is a lack of professionalism within the clubs because the statute is associative, the bosses are the politicians and the members. With the new club-company law and the arrival of international investors, I think the mindset will change and brands will benefit. A good example is Red Bull Bragantino, who will play Serie A.

Sports betting has always existed, but it is only now legalized in Brazil. How do you see the relationship of the fans, the audience, with the activity? Is there a strong work of marketing and brand actions to change the negative image that it may have in some sectors of the Brazilian society?
For now, I see a lot of difficulty. It is important to relate to Brazilian fans with differentiated content, not just relationships with the brand or the bets. The brand has to bring something different; it has to think on the social side, on benefits, on smart partnerships. The bookmaker has to think: "what added value can I give to the Brazilian public in the long term?" This for me is the only option to "convert" new fans little by little into betting customers.

Source: Exclusive Games Magazine Brasil