LUN 27 DE MAYO DE 2024 - 12:39hs.
GMB One-on-One - Marco Pequeno, iGaming360

"Brazil has the potential to be one of the three largest gaming markets in the world"

In another meeting of the GMB One-On-One interview cycle, Gildo Mazza talked with the founder and CEO of iGaming360, Marco Pequeno, about the company, the consolidation of brands in the Brazilian sports betting market and prospects for regulating the sector. According to him, leading international operators see the great potential of the country in this sector. 'Brazil has the potential to be one of the three largest gaming markets in the world,' he says.

GMB - Many betting sites are from major global firms. Why would they need a Brazilian consultancy like iGaming360?
Marco Pequeno - It is essential to be in contact with the Brazilian public in a very close way. We see that most of the operators - and not those we see on TV on Globo's commercial football breaks or on closed TV channels - I'm talking about smaller operators that often have a very shallow understanding - when they do - about the Brazilian public. They bring ready-made stuff from Europe or Asia and expect it to work here. It's not like this. The Brazilian public is totally different not only from the European or Asian public. It is totally different from Argentine, Uruguayan, Chilean or Peruvian. In Latin America, each country is a totally different market. And in the case of Brazil, in terms of language, too, as it is the only country on the continent that does not speak Spanish.

IGaming360 was born to serve this operator who wants to enter Brazil. He sees the potential of the Brazilian market, which is something that is increasingly talked about. Brazil has the potential to be one of the three largest gaming markets in the world. The operator who wants to take advantage of this market correctly needs to not only enter Brazil and translate the website and promotions. He needs payment methods, a good affiliation strategy, which is essential for this. He needs to get related with the audience. Does he want only the player who bets with cryptocurrency or does he want an average bettor, who goes to the lottery every Wednesday and Saturday? He will need to get to this public. For that, he needs a company, inside Brazil, that knows the way the Brazilian behaves, not only in the betting market, but also how to talk from Brazilian to Brazilian.

In the consumption relationship, this is fundamental between the parties. We created iGaming360 to exactly meet this demand. Thomas Carvalhaes, from LeoVegas, has a word I like a lot: tropicalization. The tropicalization of operators is what we help our customers to do. We tropicalize not only the brand, but its entire operation. Often the customer brings a very tight operation to European standards and we tropicalize to the maximum so that his operation in Brazil is successful.

And which would be the right way to show the Brazilian to the betting sites and what to show local public of these bookmakers?
We have done a very interesting job, on several fronts. For some, we have done work with social media, and for others deeper content than simply daily communication via that way. For others, we provide consultancy. We have operators who entered the country about a month or two ago, who used our consultancy for more than six months, with a business map design including topics such as  what they would find in Brazil, what they needed to do, what payment methods they would need to have. This last thing is very specific, since we have the ‘boleto’ system in Brazil, and we indicate in the studies even the best payment method providers. In other words, we develop from a complete marketing and business plan to dealing with daily operations, such as social media management. Today we have contracts, whose clients we cannot disclose, that sponsor Premier League teams and the Scottish Premier League, which is one of our biggest customers. We do all social media communication, something that has borne much fruit for them. And we are not restricted to that. We do all consulting and branding solutions for operators. We have, for example, a series of Brasileirão clubs in contact with us in the search for an operator to become their sponsor.

Even without the regulation of sports betting, approved by law, companies are already in Brazil!
They've been around for a long time. Sportingbet arrived in Brazil in 2007. Since then, more and more operators have been arriving. I have information that we already have approximately 150 operators in Brazil, large and small, which is a huge and very interesting number for an open market. The regulation does not come out and we have no idea when it will come. We seek an ideal regulation and it needs to be well thought out, which is why I understand the delay. It cannot end with the market but regulate it properly. A well-regulated market will help the government raise more and protect operators and the gambler.

Do you think that the bettor already feels protected, even without regulation, with the licensed companies?
Yes for sure. There is always one or the other who has a problem with the experience. We see this with several operators, either by limitation or delay in withdrawal. It happens and it is part of it, but we know that a player is only limited if he tries to break some of the house rules. They feel safe with bookmakers like Bet365, for example, which is not our customer, but is a benchmark in Brazil. He feels safe at SportingBet, because he sees the company on TV and its branding strength is fundamental. The average Brazilian gambler is still a person who believes much more in what he sees on television.

SportingBet's presence on TV is benchmarking for that. I am part of the team that helped create this in 2012, when we were already doing commercials on closed television channels. We knew about the potential of closed TV. It was more expensive, it always was and it is still more expensive than the internet, in online disclosures, but the reputation you get from TV Globo, for example, guarantees security. The gambler does not feel safe on all sites, but on those licensed, he seeks information about the license, and feels safe. After a few operations, where you place bets, win and draw, you are the best of all worlds and the bettor will feel more comfortable. We see, both in our customers and in other operators, a great confidence in Brazilians.

Is it possible to sell sports other than football to the Brazilian bettor? We are so used to football!
It certainly has room for other sports. As a Brazilian, I complain a lot about that, because we place a lot of value on football. We had a phase, during Ayrton Senna's period, that every Brazilian would wake up early on Sundays to watch Formula 1. We also had a very good phase in volleyball, in Bernardinho's golden years, and also in basketball. But we never created much space for these sports. But there are a lot of cool sports out there. I, for example, have been a fan of American football since I lived in the United States in 2009. Since then I started to learn the rules. They are difficult, but once you learn and come to understand how that sport works, it is very difficult not to like it. Sport affects our emotions and once you understand, you understand what that sport does to you. What we need, as a Brazilian football fan, is to understand other sports. That is why it is key to have affiliates, who talk about other sports. They teach you not only to understand football, but to see value. You can see this in other sports.

What are your expectations for the coming months, knowing the Brazilian, the sports betting product and studying what's coming in terms of regulation?
I expect an increasingly open market. We don't know when the regulation will come out or if it will come out. I think it will, because it is in the government's interest that this market be regulated so that this source of revenue exists. So, my expectation is for an increasingly open market with more possibilities. There are many restrictions, as we are unable to make, for example, paid ads on Google. The tendency is for us to follow much more mature regulations, such as English or Colombian. Today we can expose the brand, but we cannot talk about what it does and that is a very big restriction, making it difficult to talk about product differentials. When we have any type of communication on different channels, especially those where we cannot use it the best way, it will be much more fair and interesting.

Given this expectation, what is your message to potential iGaming360 customers?
If you want to enter Brazil successfully, I suggest you talk to us first. I think it is important that you arrive in Brazil with the correct orientation and not just with a translated website and a boleto provider. It is not how it works. Do you want to have bettors? The keyword is relationship. And to create a relationship with a Brazilian, you first need to understand the Brazilian. And, without wanting to be a citizen, to understand the Brazilian, you need to be Brazilian. Nobody understands the Brazilian like us.

In other words, build a solid base with good sediment!
Exactly. Do a consistent branding job, with very solid bases. It is important that you have the foundation to hold your brand and say what you do. Let it not be a brand that promises one thing and delivers another. And that this work is done in the micro details. It is hard and daily work to make everything happen. That's why we exist. That's why iGaming360 is here. To do from consulting work, complete and manual mapping, putting hand in the mud and planning beautiful things for our operators.

Source: Exclusive Games Magazine Brasil