Klas Winberg is the Chief Commercial Officer at Catena Media and proud father of two. We have managed to catch Klas to pick his brain about what makes Catena Media be Catena Media.
EEGReport Magazine: Hi Klas, tell us a bit about yourself, how did you venture into the gaming industry and what are your key activities within the niche?
Klas: I’m a proud father of two with very stereotypical interests such as travelling, sports and good company. I ventured into this industry in 2004 when a good friend of mine recruited me into Expekt.com. This was back in the days when Expekt.com was enjoying market shares of probably around 60% of the Nordic market and poker was the new black. My role, however, was Head of PR and I started to feel I wanted to move into a clear marketing role. Betfair was able to provide me with that and I had seven great years with Betfair. Before coming to Catena Media I was Head of Marketing at a new brand called Luck.com.
EEGReport Magazine: In the past you’ve also worked for Expekt.com as Head of PR, and for Betfair as well! What were the main elements/take homes that you’ve gained at these companies?
Klas: Having been on the operator side for 12 years before coming over to the affiliate side is a great benefit for me as I understand how the operators reason and plan around their affiliate strategies. I think too many times people with affiliate-only experience see the relationship as a zero sum game with only one winner whereas I always try to bring a win-win perspective to the table.
EEGReport Magazine: How did you make the transition to Catena Media?!
Klas: It all started with a meeting with our CEO, Robert Andersson. I was not at all convinced that this challenge would be something that would interest me until I met with Robert. It was quickly clear to me that this was a company with the ambition to change how the affiliate industry works. Once up and running with Catena it did not take long to see what a great experience I had signed up for even though it is not always easy to keep up with the giant strides we keep taking, but that is what always keeps you on your toes.
EEGReport Magazine: In the past year you’ve been really strengthening your market positions, with a few very good acquisitions, like: Casino UK (casinouk.com), SBAT, AskGamblers, but also Playnj.com and Uspoker.com ! Do you have any new acquisitions planned?
Klas: It is no secret that we will keep looking at acquisitions aggressively. It is a central part of our strategy and as long as there remains to be interesting objects out there to buy we will consider them. The coming years will see a substantial consolidation on the iGaming affiliate market, faster than it has happened among the operators.
EEGReport Magazine: It’s clear that you’ve really strengthen your position on the UK an US market, do you have any new markets insight, if yes what would be the main reason to enter those markets?
Klas: I believe that the acquisitions we do in the coming year will primarily be on markets we are currently active on rather than to get into additional markets. We need to consolidate our positions and not be a small operator on very many markets. When we think diversification it is more out of a product perspective.
EEGReport Magazine: It seems like you also would like to venture more deeper into the esports, daily fantasy sports and sports betting sectors/verticals!?!
Klas: With the acquisition of Spelbloggare.se and SBAT we have clearly shown our ambition to grow into the sports betting sector. We are very excited about expanding our product portfolio and will look to do so even further. We want to get to a place where a portfolio operator does not have to turn to five different affiliates in order to cover sports and casino in Sweden, UK and Norway but that we can provide substantial traffic in all of those boxes. In terms of e-sport and daily fantasy sports, suffice to say we are following the development closely. I think fantasy sports have yet to prove that it can be properly monetized before it becomes really interesting.
EEGReport Magazine: Does this mean that you’re really betting on the explosion of esports and daily fantasy sports in the near future?
Klas: For strategic reasons I would not like to comment on this right now.
EEGReport Magazine: With the acquisition of SBAT(UK-based social media sports news, betting and tips website) you’ve strengthen and diversified your position within Paid media by adding social media advertising too. How do you see the future is it gonna be “viral/organic” or “paid”?
Klas: I think the long game is organic. That is where our strength and background are and it is where we have an upper hand on the competition through expertise required over several years. SBAT does do paid but they also have a very good position to grow organically. Having said that I think paid may resurface in different shapes as in building brands out of our sites.
EEGReport Magazine: With a new president in the US, how do you see that market evolving…?
Klas: I think it is anyone’s guess really. I am not even sure that Trump himself has given it a proper thought yet. One fact is that he is the first US president ever to own a casino. That could indicate a protection of his positions on that market. In general, however, I think he will be open to look into the changes proposed by the American Gaming Association who are arguing for fewer regulations and the legalization of sports betting.
EEGReport Magazine: Are there any new trends that we should look out for? In which direction do you think that the European and UK markets are heading?
Klas: Unfortunately, the European markets are out of a gambling perspective becoming more isolationists in my opinion. The good news is that local licenses are to be gained in more and more countries, moving the operator’s presence from grey to white. There will be a period of adjustment between the expectations and demands from the local legislators and the commercial realities of the operators, but I think in the long run these interest will converge in a agreeable position that can work for all.
EEGReport Magazine: Next to the acquisitions, you’ve also been doing some heavy recruitment. Do you plan to open new offices or you’re just really strengthening your position?
Klas: We are not looking to add more offices for the sake of adding more offices. In reality if it was feasible to have everyone sitting in one location that is what we would have opted for. We just happen to have acquired very talented people in different locations and the success of these sites rests on the fact that they are present on those locations. But indeed, we do have a lot of open positions so we are nowhere near fully staffed meaning that we are very grateful for the interest of talented people looking for a new challenge in a very expansive and exciting company.
EEGReport Magazine: Thanks for your time, and we’d like to wish Catena Media good luck for the iGB Affiliate Awards!!!
Klas: Many thanks! We are very much looking forward to it.
This interview appeared first on EEGReport Magazine.
Gambling.com Group is the 2021 EGR Affiliate of the Year
Gambling.com Group Limited, a leading provider of player acquisition services for the regulated global online gambling industry, announced it has won the most prestigious award for affiliates in the online gambling industry: the Affiliate of the Year award presented by eGaming Review (“EGR”). The Group accepted the honor at the 2021 EGR Global Operator Awards in London on November 25th. It is the second time the Group has won the award, following its win in 2018.
Gambling.com Group beat out 15 other affiliates shortlisted in the Affiliate of the Year category by delivering outstanding financial performance during the July 2020 to June 2021 judging period. Not only was the Group a leader in revenue growth, based on public disclosures, but 100 percent of its growth was achieved organically, without any contribution from acquisitions. The Group considers organic revenue to be the hardest thing to achieve in the affiliate industry and the most important financial metric affiliate companies report. This revenue outperformance helped fuel a successful initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq Global Market in New York, making the Group the first online gambling affiliate publicly traded in the United States.
Charles Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer of Gambling.com Group, said of the honor, “Being named the 2021 Affiliate of the Year is the crown jewel on top of a monumental and historic year for the Group. I am grateful to work with our first-class, professional and dedicated team which drove significant growth in the business as well as delivered on our key, strategic projects.”
For the Group’s Affiliate of the Year nomination, the judges commented, “They have had a stand-out year and quite a lot going for them. Stellar growth and they have done so much over the past year. Differentiation, quality and scale – they cover it all off with a data-driven approach.”
The EGR Awards are judged by a team of independent, external judges with a diverse range of in-depth online gambling expertise. The awards were given by EGR Global, a B2B publisher and networking group for the online gambling industry.
Blexr has won its fifth award in three years after being crowned Best Casino Affiliate at the EGR Operator Awards
The event, held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on 25 November, saw Blexr pick up this award for the second time, having previously won the same prize in 2019.
Blexr is a lead generation company which operates in the iGaming and sportsbook affiliate markets. It is a remote-first company with an office in Malta.
The EGR Operator Awards describes itself as the Oscars of the iGaming world, and its judges said Blexr offers “quality products and truly covers the globe”.
They added: “Blexr has innovated with some unique features that go over and above the standard affiliate offering, which is always great to see.
“One for the ages – a truly long-standing operation that has successfully evolved with the times, and most importantly with compliance.”
Koen Bongers, Blexr’s head of marketing, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be recognised once again by the EGR Operator Awards.
“Our whole team works very hard to offer quality products and create innovation, so it’s fantastic to win another award, one which all our Blexrians can be very proud of.”
Rightlander partners with BetBull
Supplier to help tier one operator improve affiliate compliance
Rightlander.com, the ground-breaking compliance platform has signed a deal with BetBull to help them improve affiliate compliance and boost responsible gambling measures.
Nicole Mitton, Head of Customer Success at Rightlander.com, said: “It’s great to see operators like BetBull partnering with Rightlander to ensure adherence to advertising regulations. These efforts are not only noteworthy from a regulatory point of view, but are also a solid indicator that BetBull are invested in protecting the interests of their stakeholders, affiliates and players in regulated markets.”
Rightlander will offer its technology which encompasses a comprehensive range of affiliate compliance tools which include the Automated Compliance Monitor, a PPC Monitor and a Proactive Affiliate Finder allowing BetBull to remain proactive and in control of their affiliate marketing.
Gabrielle Mallia, BetBull said: “We decided to opt for Rightlander because of its ability to give further visibility into our affiliate’s practices. The PPC Monitor is particularly key in allowing us to ensure adherence to policies specifically related to keywords and geos of promotion. Rightlander increases the efficiency in our compliance monitoring with its wide scope and allows us to quickly identify any breaches should they occur.”
The Automated Compliance Monitor helps detect non-compliant content across territories including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Australia and the United States. The monitor flags potential violations such as missing terms and conditions, outdated offers, incorrect marketing assets allowing BetBull to remain compliant according to their jurisdiction’s regulations.
The Proactive Affiliate Finder scans millions of web pages every month to identify new and prominent sites and the innovative PPC Monitor identifies harmful ads to stop them from appearing on an operator’s branded keywords.
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