VIE 12 DE ABRIL DE 2024 - 09:06hs.
Summary of Day 2 debates

Brasil Sports Betting Summit: platform, marketing, clubs and operators call for betting regulation

The second day of the Brasil Sports Betting Summit, at BFEXPO 2022, reinforced the need for betting regulation. Some specialists from the main companies in the sector, such as Betnacional/NSX, PixBet, EstrelaBet and Entain, as well as lawyers and marketing executives, highlighted the need and the great opportunity at the moment, on the eve of the Qatar World Cup, for the government to approve once and for all the regulated market operation.

The second day of the Brasil Sports Betting Summit, which took place within the scope of BFEXPO 2022, the main football event in Latin America and held by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), focused, in the form of round tables, on discussions about opportunities and challenges for clubs, operators and competitions, as well as a final panel that presented conclusions and perspectives on the betting market in Brazil.

The first one brought together Rafael Zanette (EstrelaBet), Mateus Lemos (PixBet), Newton Neto (Grupo Betnacional/NSX), and Eder Schaphauser (Upsports.bet), and its central topic was the marketing of bookmakers. It was mediated by Maurício Portela, from LiveMode.

Eder Schaphauser, from Usports.bet, highlighted that the bookmaker, since the beginning of its operations when being contacted after by football clubs, always sought to identify not only the team's needs, but its entire positioning policy, correct payment of salaries and transparency in the relationship also with fans.

 

 

“Talking on equal terms with them was very important to identify and strengthen the synergy between the parties in order to achieve a lasting and beneficial relationship for both. We also talk to athletes so that they understand our work philosophy and the importance of sporting integrity and other issues related to our industry. And all of this has proven extremely productive,” he commented.

Newton Neto, director of the Betnacional Group, made up of the sports platform developer NSX and the operators Betnacional, PagBet, Simples Bet and MrJack.bet, stated that there are different strategies for each of the companies in the group. “As platform developers, we show the features and focus on the technology that surrounds our product, comparable to the main systems available around the world.”

According to him, for the bookmakers in the group, “we focus on each one of them. While at Betnacional we have a great national appeal, including having closed an advertising quota to be on Rede Globo during the World Cup, for the others we carry out more regional actions. Anyway, for all of them we have done an excellent job of brand positioning, with ambassadors, influencers and strong interactions with the fans of the clubs we sponsor,” he explained.

 



Betnacional, said Newton Neto, is the sportsbook with the biggest investment in media, “while Simples Bet doesn't have that footprint. PagBet has a stronger presence in the Northeast and this is where we carry out actions and activations aimed at this audience. Likewise, we do the same in the South for MrJack.bet.”

EstrelaBet also participated in the meeting and according to the company's head of sponsorship, Rafael Zanette, it “attacks on several fronts and we don't have a single strategy. It's not just football or just the media. Everything is important and if possible we make a union between the actions and ways of understanding each target audience,” he explained.

 



PixBet, which has great visibility in the Brazilian market both by brand ambassadors and by the clubs it sponsors, such as Flamengo, Santos, Goiás, América-MG and others, has also worked very closely with its sponsors, in addition to having closed a sponsorship quota for the broadcasts of the Qatar World Cup by Globo. Mateus Lemos, from the company's marketing area, says that the company sought to work very closely with the fans. “For each club we work with a different strategy in order to bring those passionate about their teams closer to the PixBet brand,” he said.

The mediator of the meeting, Maurício Portela, from LiveMode, commented that Brazil is very peculiar, due to so many different cultures, a population passionate about football, but also fans of other sports, which is why he understands the postures adopted by the bookmakers that operate in the country.

All agreed and still converged on the importance of the current moment of football, on the eve of the World Cup and that all marketing actions give enormous visibility to bookmakers, but mainly to the way operators operate to consolidate in the minds of people that this is a serious economic activity and that the closing of sponsorship quotas with the main TV networks on the continent - in this case Betnacional and PixBet - give even more credibility to the sector.

The panelists also said that they deal with the closing of sponsorship contracts with great criteria and always seeking to identify campaigns with the supporters and with the entire community around the club, partner-supporter programs and the search for brand ambassadors who are “close” to the fans.

Some of the companies' main strategies also cover visibility in stadiums, either through displays and mats, as well as backdrops for interviews, which give recognition both in the stadiums and in the media. This, according to them, further increases the recognition of the betting sector by society.

Regardless of the competition between companies and the search for greater visibility, they all also converged on the importance of regulating sports betting, with clear rules aimed at consumer protection, sports integrity and with requirements that do not alienate bookmakers from the regulated market. In addition, they defended adequate tax rules both for the operators themselves, but mainly for the bettors, so that they do not flee the regulated market for gray operations.

Questions from the Ministry of Justice

When asked by lawyer Bárbara Telles, from Rei do Pitaco, about the Ministry of Justice's questions on sponsorship and advertising contracts, all of them were calm about the subject, since they reported having adopted all the practices necessary for such contracts to be signed in accordance with Brazilian law.

In summing up the meeting, Portela said that it was quite interesting, “since the four brands are still young and have been working very seriously and correctly on the relationship between bookmakers and the market, with their sponsors and with society in general. Brazil has a lot to take advantage of, treating the regulation seriously and quickly so that the market grows even more.”

Afterwards, a panel discussed the operation itself, in which Camilla Carvalho, from Pay4Fun, brought the company's experience in the area of ​​payment methods, one of the backbones of the sports betting industry. “We have always been focused on activity and working extremely seriously in the face of the challenges of offering safe and transparent operations, both for operators and punters. And today, with the authorization of the Central Bank to operate in the sector, we give a clear demonstration of the understanding of the seriousness of our activity.”

 



Also present on the panel, Diogo, COO of SGA System, a sports betting platform with technology 100% developed by Brazilians and for Brazilians, brought to those present the company's experience in the IT area. “We focus on providing excellent service to operators from a system with easy and quick integration, in addition to being very safe. We currently have more than 40 partners working with our platform and the trend is that this number will increase significantly in the coming months, as we have recently achieved our GLI certification, which gives operators even more confidence that we have the best product to offer to the market.”

 



Alessandro Valente, from Super Afiliados and Bitci Brasil, brought his experience both in the area of affiliation marketing and new technologies that approach the sports betting sector, such as operations with cryptocurrencies and the great news of the market, fantokens and NFT’s. “It is important to highlight the innovation of Bitci Brasil, the official broadcaster/sponsor of the Brazilian National Team. We launched the first batch of fantokens – 30 million units – recently and the success was incredible, with the batch being sold out in a few hours,” he said, adding that the second batch will be out on September 26.

In addition, he commented on the importance of affiliates for the growth of the Brazilian sports betting market. “Affiliation is an activity that strengthens the performance of the bookmakers not only by expanding the reach of their operations, but even by sharing the risk, since the work is remunerated based on results,” he said.

 



According to the executive, Super Afiliados works very closely with its partners, giving them all the support so that they are successful in promoting bookmakers and winning over new customers. “We have a very selective method to add new affiliates to our network and in order for them to qualify, they must have transparent and serious practices for approaching gamblers. Only after this review can they start working with us,” he said.

Complementary activities

The interesting thing about this panel, in which each of the speakers complemented the other in the betting ecosystem, since three important segments were at the table precisely to complete each other. Sports betting needs a secure platform, easy to integrate and operate, as well as serious, comprehensive and also secure payment methods, which add up to winning customers through a good affiliate network.

And what everyone defended was the immediate regulation of sports betting so that this combination of tools aimed at operators can contribute, as well as the sector, to the development of a serious activity with a high capacity to generate jobs and taxes.

Clubs highlight importance of bookmakers

Football clubs also had a voice at the Brasil Sports Betting Summit, with the participation of Paula Young, from Botafogo, Rafael Soares, marketing director at Santos and Jorge Avancini, vice president of marketing at Internacional. The panel was mediated by Bernardo Pontes, a partner at BP Sports and Alobg Sports.

More than just a voice, everyone highlighted the importance of bookmakers for the development of their clubs, when talking about their sponsors, but about the entire football ecosystem as a whole, recognizing that other teams have also been growing thanks to companies of the sector.

 



Paula Young, who recently took over the sponsorship area of Botafogo, said that the club has been going through important and fantastic changes since the club's transformation into a SAF. “With the arrival of this new reality, all sponsorships were canceled and we started to look for new contracts. It was a joy to have closed with Blaze, which has everything to do with us, including the union of our name, Botafogo, with the Blaze logo, a flame. The sponsorship is new and we are now starting to build the whole partnership,” she said.

Rafael Soares, marketing director at Santos, reinforced at the CBF meeting what he already said in an exclusive interview with GMB, the importance of the union with PixBet. “The club has a beautiful and important history not only in Brazilian football, but worldwide. That's why we called the club Santos do Mundo, in the face of all its grandeur,” he recalled.

 



According to him, at the end of the previous contract, Santos understood that it could look for a new partner that would bring more benefits to the club. “Arriving at Santos was a source of pride, after having passed through Sport Recife. It is an internationally renowned club and when the existing sponsorship ended, we confirmed Santos' full status as a club that attracts everyone's attention. We received numerous proposals and the one that enchanted us the most was that of PixBet, for everything it offered and for the ethical and transparent posture with which it develops its activity in the Brazilian sports betting market. I am sure to say that the choice could not have been better,” assured Rafael.

Jorge Avancini, VP of Marketing at Internacional, brought an experience that is most applauded for his more than 22 years in the field of sports marketing. He said that Rio Grande do Sul has numerous peculiarities in terms of football, especially due to the great rivalry between the two main clubs in the state. “There, no sponsor entered just one of the clubs to avoid creating a bad atmosphere with the other fans. When we took over and faced the need to seek a new sponsor, we decided to break this paradigma.”

 



According to him, it wasn't easy, but Internacional was sought out by Rafael Zanette, from EstrelaBet, and after many discussions about club strategies and the requirements for single sponsorship, it was time to convince Internacional's board. “There were numerous concerns and the main one was about being a bookmaker and the other, having a 'star' in its logo, an image that could be associated with some political stance, since our president was already linked to the PT political party in his past. After a series of negotiations, we closed with EstrelaBet and today we are more than satisfied, because in addition to showing great seriousness, they also became a master sponsor of the women's, which shows the dedication of the bookmaker to Internacional,” he narrated.

Closing with gold key

To end the day and deliver a kind of conclusion about the event as a whole, Udo Seckelmann, from Bichara e Motta Advogados; Martin Licka, from Entain; and Ludovico Calvi, from the Global Lottery Monitoring System, shared the stage to reinforce the need for sector regulation.
 


In general, and drawing some parallels with experience presented on other jurisdictions that have gone through the regulatory process, they converged on the opinion that the Ministry has a legal obligation to regulate the activity.

Another point addressed by them was the issue of sponsorships, as other countries with consolidated operations are restricting the sponsorship of bookmakers on football club shirts. Panelists do not see it as an effective measure, but rather a populist one.

 

 

There was also talk about the taxation of the gambler. Panelists understand that major global operators are very concerned about how bookmakers' customers will be taxed. For them, there is a big risk that high taxation could cause punters to remain in the unregulated market.

For everyone, it is undeniable that the Brazilian market is gigantic and the opportunities are very large. As the market is heated, all the players in the market need to pay attention to continuing to work for transparency, attention to responsible gaming and working together to support sporting integrity.

Source: GMB