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Affiliate Announcements

Better Collective acquires leading US sports betting media platform, Action Network, for 240 mUSD

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Better Collective’s Co-founders receive lifetime achievement award

 

With the acquisition of Action Network, Better Collective gains clear market leadership within sports betting media and affiliation in the US and now expects to increase its revenues in the US to more than 100 mUSD by 2022.

Sports betting media group, Better Collective, today announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Action Network, Inc. (“Action”) for 240 mUSD (198 mEUR) on a cash and debt free basis. Founded in 2017 and launched in 2018, Action is uniquely positioned in the US market as the premium sports content and product destination for US sports bettors. A trusted source for sports fans, Action’s media platforms provide an enhanced experience for its users through original sports news content, premium insights, deep menus of odds and proprietary betting tools and data. Action’s diverse revenue model includes a rapidly-growing affiliate marketing business focused on customer acquisition for betting operators in the US as well as subscription products, anchored by Action Pro, Action Labs and Fantasy Labs.

Action continues to benefit from the expanding legal sports betting market in the US. In 2021, Action is expected to achieve revenues approaching 40 mUSD, an increase of over 100% year-on-year, while also generating positive operational earnings in 2021. As more states legalize online sports betting, the potential to further deepen and expand Action’s commercial partnerships with large US-based sportsbooks such as BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet   is significant. Action is headquartered in New York, and has approximately 100 employees.

The Transaction

The purchase price amounts to 240 mUSD (198 mEUR) on a cash and debt free basis and will be settled in a cash payment and a 12 mUSD issuance of new Better Collective (BETCO.ST) shares to Action’s management, key employees and certain other individuals. 10 mUSD of the cash payment will be paid on a deferred basis as settlement of certain existing share options in Action. The number of Better Collective shares issued will be determined by the volume-weighted BETCO.ST share price 5 trading days prior to the date of this announcement. Further, the issued Better Collective shares will be subject to a lock-up of between 6 and 24 months following completion of the transaction.

The cash component of the purchase price will be provided through bank financing.

The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in Q2 2021.

Better Collective in the US 
While the US sports betting market has grown rapidly since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) removed a federal ban on online gambling, only 13 states have legalized online gambling at this point. Many more are expected to follow in the coming years, with the addressable market significantly expanding as a result. Total online sports betting revenues in the US are forecasted to reach 4 bnUSD in 2022 and amount to nearly 40 bnUSD in 2033*.

Following the execution of Better Collective’s acquisition strategy and ongoing investments in the US market, Better Collective’s US business has developed successfully, with high growth and a rapid increase in profitability. The acquisition of Action consolidates Better Collective’s leading position in the affiliate and customer delivery verticals within online sports betting, enabled through a number of strong product platforms. In light of this, and given the continued pace of new states regulating, Better Collective expects the US market to continue growing and its US revenues to surpass 100 mUSD by 2022, with positive and increasing operational earnings.

Action will become an integral part of Better Collective US and will continue to operate as a separate business unit with its current brands, management team, and employees, led by CEO Patrick Keane who will report to Group Management through US CEO, Marc Pedersen. Action will integrate with Better Collective’s current organization where relevant in order to generate efficiencies.

Jesper Søgaard, CEO of Better Collective, says:
“I am thrilled to welcome Action and its employees to Better Collective. This acquisition, which is the largest in Better Collective’s history, gives us a leading position within affiliation in the US and a strong foundation for profiting from the continuous regulation of the US betting market. We add three new, very well positioned US sports media brands to our portfolio and welcome around 100 new colleagues, together representing an invaluable pool of knowledge and expertise on the US sports betting media market. By all accounts, this is a great day for Better Collective.”

Patrick Keane, CEO of Action, says: 
“Today marks a great achievement in the history of Action. In just a few years, our team has managed to build a leading sports betting product and media business in the US market, making us attractive to a leading international player. I am thrilled about this outcome for our employees and investors and we look forward to continuing to forge great relationships with our league, media and sportsbook partners. Under Better Collective’s ownership, we become part of a company with many years of experience and all the resources necessary to further grow our position and develop our offering, to ultimately enhance the betting and entertainment experience for sports fans. We gain new colleagues, career paths and perspectives. I’m looking very much forward to the journey ahead. ”

Financial Targets
Better Collective will consolidate Action into the Better Collective Group from the time of closing. In connection with the acquisition, Better Collective is updating its Financial Targets for 2021:

  • Total group revenue is now expected to exceed 180 mEUR (previously more than 160 mEUR); and
  • Operational profit is now expected to exceed 55 mEUR (previously more than 50 mEUR).

Better Collective will share more details in connection with its Q1 2021 earnings report that will be released on May 12, 2021.

The acquisition of Action will bring Better Collective’s estimated debt leverage (Net Interest Bearing Debt/EBITDA) above the company’s financial target of <3.0. Due to Better Collective’s strong operating cash flow, the Board of Directors has decided that for the time being, it is acceptable for the company’s debt leverage to exceed the financial target of 3.0, which target remains in place for 2021. The Board will therefore decide upon any potential changes to the company’s long term capital structure in due course.

Advisors
Morgan Stanley acted as sole financial advisor, Bruun & Hjejle and GreenbergTraurig acted as legal advisors, and PwC acted as accounting and tax advisor in connection with the acquisition for Better Collective. Nordea Bank will be providing financing to facilitate the closing of the transaction.

Moelis & Company LLC acted as sole financial advisor and Venable LLP acted as legal advisor to Action. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as advisors to The Chernin Group, the largest shareholder of Action.

Affiliate Announcements

WA.Technology Launches WA.Affiliates

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WA.Technology Launches WA.Affiliates

 

WA.Technology, an award-winning B2B iGaming solutions provider, announces the launch of WA.Affiliates, a next-gen iGaming affiliate management platform. WA.Affiliates empowers operators to manage and optimise their affiliate programs for enhanced profitability, broader market reach, and streamlined, successful operations. 

WA.Affiliates combines an intuitive user interface with a clean, functional design, facilitating simple affiliate performance management. The platform solution is built on real-time optimisation and informed analytics so operators can expand their reach, increase traffic, and boost revenue with maximum efficiency.

Key features include personalised and customisable agreements for each affiliate, integrated user tracking for intelligent insights, and an optimised iGaming-oriented back-office. WA.Affiliates’ support includes zero setup fees alongside free panel transitions and integrated wallets for transaction security and straightforward migration.

Operators can reap the benefits of effortless management thanks to WA.Affiliates’ user-friendly dashboard configuration. Around-the-clock support offers real-time assistance and uncomplicated navigation, giving operators the upper hand in the global marketplace. Hourly insights, detailed reports, and in-depth analysis perfect data-driven decisions for improved acquisition and retention strategies. WA.Affiliates also motivates affiliates via its engaging gamification system, and intelligent user-tracking provides accurate information on campaign performance.

Tim Scoffham, CEO of WA.Technology, shared his enthusiasm for the launch, saying, “With WA.Affiliates, we’re forging a new path in the iGaming industry, creating a platform that not only meets but anticipates the needs of our partners. Our focus on innovation and customised solutions makes WA.Affiliates a key player in driving growth and profitability. We’re simplifying affiliate management to deliver tangible results, demonstrating our commitment to leading the way in digital excellence. At WA.Technology, we’re not just following the path to excellence – we’re creating it.”

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Affiliate Announcements

CasinoBeats Summit Set to Offer a Laser Focus on Marketing and Affiliate Strategies

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CasinoBeats Summit Set to Offer a Laser Focus on Marketing and Affiliate Strategies

 

Amidst the whirlwind of Google’s relentless updates and the intricate web of affiliate marketing, the upcoming CasinoBeats Summit, with a laser focus on SEO, AI content, and innovative traffic monetisation strategies, will offer marketers and affiliates a platform to tackle pressing inquiries head-on.

The ‘Marketing & Affiliation’ track will occur across both core days of the CasinoBeats Summit, 22nd – 23rd May, at the InterContinental Malta. The track will provide 4500 attendees with an in-depth exploration of key talking points shaping the worlds of marketing and affiliation.

Discussions will encompass leveraging innovative technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and immersive video content to engage new audiences, the power of alternative marketing channels, and gaining a competitive edge through SEO strategies.

The panel titled ‘Finding CRM harmony: Automation vs Experience’ will delve into the growing influence of customer relationship management (CRM) and the most effective strategies for its utilisation. Industry experts Matthias S. Kaiser (Head of CRM at Tipico), Alexandru Ababei (CRM Global Promotions Manager, Betsson) and Zurab Magalashvili (CMO, Adjarabet), will explore how CRM implementation can align with existing processes for player experiences and how CRM data can aid in proactive responsible gambling initiatives.

The conference session ‘Future-Proofing Marketing: Unveiling Trends Beyond the Hype’ will discuss the latest marketing trends and assess their long-term potential. Marketing experts Calvin Samut (Head of Brand, Socios), Cecilia López Boronat (Marketing Content Manager, Clobet Limited) and panel moderator Dennis Algreen (Marketing Director, SBC Events), will explore the longevity of these emerging trends, the danger of chasing trends and whether businesses should prioritise long-term brand stability over fleeting marketing fads.

The conference on the second day will commence with the panel ‘Monetizing Traffic Beyond Traditional Models’ focusing on the significance of alternative marketing channels such as Whatsapp and Telegram. Experts Silvia Almeida (Chief Media Officer, Clever Advertising), Leanne Muleba (Chief Operations Officer, Matching Visions), Eleonora Norbiato (Head of Acquisition, SKS365) and panel moderator Maria Tsnompilantze (Content Marketing Manager, SBC), will deliberate over how useful these alternative channels are, what metrics are particularly relevant for monetization purposes and whether the quality or quantity debate is over in the age of SEO.

The panel titled ‘The Uncharted Territory of Grey Hat SEO – Traffic, Cloaking, PBNs, Parasite SEO and More’ will delve into the nuances of SEO and PPC tactics, exploring the benefits of both Google-approved and grey hat strategies. Led by experts Vadim Aidlin (Chief Executive Officer, PushnotiAds) and Julia Logan (CEO & Founder, Zangoose Digital), discussions will encompass the use of PBNs, the impact of bot traffic, successful partnership SEO strategies and best practices regarding cloaking.

The first core day of the event will also feature a dedicated ‘SEO Trilogy’, hosted by Ivana Flynn alongside a host of industry experts as they tackle the continuously evolving SEO landscape.

The conference will also provide delegates with dedicated tracks covering key industry verticals such as casino, leadership, industry, and regulation and dedicated sessions for women in gaming. Moreover, attendees will be able to participate in innovative session formats such as hackathons, roundtables, and workshops.

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Affiliate Announcements

Catena Media readies for online sports betting launch in North Carolina

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Catena Media readies for online sports betting launch in North Carolina

 

Catena Media is well positioned to record a solid launch of online sports betting affiliation in North Carolina when the state opens for licensed sports wagering.

The group’s national brands, led by LegalSportsreport.com, are attracting North Carolina bettors with dedicated content, as is Catena Media’s state-focused NCSharp.com website. Alongside Catena Media’s own brands, the group has also published content in collaboration with media partners including Advance Local, owner of NJ.com and other news websites.

In the countdown to launch day, Catena Media held several top rankings for key organic search terms used by potential bettors to find relevant sports-betting-related content and offers.

Prior to the official go-live, the group has deals in place with five major operators offering sports betting platform access to North Carolinians. The customer agreements in North Carolina consist of a mix of revenue share and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) agreements.

North Carolina, with an adult population of 8.5 million, allows anyone aged 21 and over to place sports bets online.

Ryan Harper, Catena Media Vice President North America, said: “We have had a solid run-up to the launch date and are pleased with our efforts so far. We also expect the March Madness NCAA college basketball tournament later this month to be a big driver of new depositing customers in North Carolina.”

North Carolina expands Catena Media’s operational footprint in North America to 29 state and regional markets.

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