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Affiliate Interviews: Sirp de Wit of PokerListings.com (HighLight Media Group)

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Today you get the chance to meet Sirp who is the Managing Director of PokerListings, the world’s most comprehensive online poker guide with in-depth reviews of online poker sites and exclusive bonuses, promotions, tournaments and freerolls, Sirp is active in Igaming since 2009.

Name: Sirp de Wit
Age: 34
Hometown: The Hague, THE NETHERLANDS
Living in: Sliema, MALTA
Favorite Food: Italian/French cuisine
Must Read Book: Papillon (Henri Charrière)
Job title: Managing Director at HighLight Media Group

 

GAV: Hi Sirp, first of all tell us and our readers as well, a little bit about yourself, we want to know who Sirp really is. How did your career start in the iGaming industry? Since when are you active at PokerListings?

SDW: I graduated in 2008 in the UK and moved straight over to Stockholm, SWEDEN, after receiving a call to join a Lead Generation company (HighLight Media Group) that is active primarily in the iGaming vertical. My career started as a Site Manager for the Dutch Market and I have been with the company ever since, taking on different roles throughout the last 8.5 years and currently the Managing Director running the Poker side of the business. We control many different poker affiliate sites that generate traffic from Europe to North/South America and Asia. The biggest brand in my portfolio is PokerListings.

Out of office you will find me a lot in the park, spending time with my 2.5 year old baby girl. Other than that I will try to watch as much football as possible and enjoy good food/drinks with my better half.

GAV: Do you still remember when you first heard about poker or played it?

SDW: Yes, this was during my time as a under graduate student in the USA. We played quite some poker on campus and around that time I also got introduced to the online version.

GAV: Since there are thousands of websites and portals in this niche out there, where do you think PokerListings stands at this moment and what is that plus that the other poker portals don’t have?

SDW: PokerListings is up there with the other big players. We still hold a leading position in the industry while looking at traffic numbers, returning visitors, and value per lead. With the latter being the most important KPI.

 

PokerListings

 

PokerListings has a true identity which is the key to lasting in this industry. There are more poker portals that have one, but the majority of the websites don’t. They focus only on the business side, while not catering for the primary need of the customer. We, as well, are running a Poker portal that focuses on the business side in order to exist, but we do focus more on delivering for the true need of the customer, even though in most cases this is not directly connected to our business model. We cater for all different types of poker players, delivering the best strategy articles to introduce players to the game, bring the latest industry news, have the most in depth reviews, the rules covering all the different poker games, an extensive video section and even have our own annual live tournament, The Battle of Malta, taking place in Malta with a guaranteed prize pool of 500k EUR. From a business perspective we could deliver the same bottom line without half listed above, but we don’t, as we know that we fill a gap that nowadays others are leaving behind which gives us the opportunity to take on a leading role.

GAV: How do you see the online poker market/industry at this moment?

SDW: Poker industry is not what is was, and for smaller affiliates a tough environment to gain market share. However, there will always be a place for online poker affiliation within the iGaming vertical and it is now all about adjusting to a new level of normal.

GAV: What are the strong points of PokerListings and what makes it stand out from the other niche websites/guides?

SDW: Identity, history, value. We are a poker guide that is over 14 years old and has something to offer for all kinds of poker players.

GAV: We have analyzed PokerListings and found some great content. Are you writing it by yourself or do you have a team of people writing for you? How about the blog section?

SDW: We have a Content Team in place in HQ in Malta and have freelancers located all over the world. In order to be top of the game in poker affiliation, you need to deliver top notch content. You won’t survive long enough to tell the tale if you try to do this with half work. Content is King in the world of SEO. In order to keep the visitors engaged and thus the Search Engine valuing you, you need to see this as an investment rather than a cost.

GAV: Tell us about the online marketing and SEO of PokerListings, do you have someone inhouse for that our you outsourced it?

SDW: Also the marketing team is situated in HQ in Malta. We focus primarily on onsite SEO strategies. On top of that we spend time on email marketing, social media marketing, and PPC where allowed.

Our Marketing/SEO strategy has changed over the years, as we needed to adjust due to updated guidelines from the biggest Search Engines. Important to keep up to date with the latest trends as no strategy last forever and you need to keep adjusting.

GAV: How do you manage to keep the website fresh and relevant, when a lot of fluffy and nonsense appear on the Internet non-stop?

SDW: We run our own content agenda. Yes, from time to time stories need to be covered as they are too big to skip, but most of the fluffy nonsense we don’t touch. The online media landscape is changing to focus primarily on clicks and traffic in order to justify the media budgets. We keep it simple, focus on the world of poker, strategy, bonuses and a bit of fun. So far this has been serving us well.

GAV: We are pretty convinced that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. You, of course select them by the brands they work with. What are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built, and how not?!

SDW: Yes, we do. I think –honesty- is still most important. We have worked with almost all poker brands available. And no matter how good your product pitch is, sooner than later your real performance will be public.

GAV: How does the online poker affiliate ecosystem look at this moment, how about the future? Let us in on a few secrets…

SDW: The affiliation part has seen a negative market trend over the last 7 years. However all about adjusting and setting a new strategy with new goals to reach. Still big upsides on the horizon: US market to open, South America/Asia is emerging, possible liquidity sharing between some Southern European countries etc.

GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online poker industry?!

SDW: I would like to see the US open up and get the ball rolling with California. This will happen eventually and this will give a boost to the industry. Politicians should to stop talking BS, and start doing their jobs. Too much talk, too little actions. It does not make sense to me that now in 2017 the fast majority of the US landscape is blocked from online poker. Not only are you depriving the US citizens from such a fun game, you are also missing out on extra income you can strike up on a state/federal level. This so called land of the free is not so free after all.

GAV: Do you have any advice you would like to offer to newbies who are looking to venture into this majestic industry!?

SDW: Whatever segment within iGaming you go into, keep the full focus on the visitor. Keep adding value to the chain. It might be a slower and more costly path to success, but once you are there it will last way longer.

GAV: How about iGaming/online casino conferences, do you attend any of them? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

SDW: I myself only go to those in London and Berlin. I normally skip Amsterdam, Barcelona and the Nordic Conference but then have my Account Managers on the ground. London and Berlin both are special cities. I enjoy coming down every year for some days.

GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe to become a potential gaming hotspot in the near future? Where do you think the region must still improve upon?

SDW: It will take time. These things won’t just happen overnight. Not only does the IT infrastructure need to be in place but capital as well. This is still lacking in most of these countries on a scale that it would be interesting to invest. We always set up products in new places where we see potential in the future so that we are ready when needed, but for now keep the marketing spend to a minimum.

GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, any favorite country or region?

SDW: Big fan of Prague. Still has the vibe of a medieval town while excellent place to party and enjoy good food.

GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe 🙂 ?

SDW: No place comes to mind.

GAV: How about a favorite celebrity or a mentor, do you have one?

SDW: Tommy Cooper

GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?

SDW: Fine site. I check the site from time to time for industry latest news headlines.

GAV: Thanks for your time Sirp, we really value it. 

 

If you would like to suggest subjects for future affiliate interviews, be sure to send your suggestions to: george@gamblingaffiliatevoice.com .

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Affiliate Success

AffiliateINSIDER delivers practical skills to complement ‘on the job’ training

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AffiliateINSIDER delivers practical skills to complement ‘on the job’ training

 

The launch of the bespoke Affiliate Manager Coaching Academy from AffiliateINSIDER means that affiliate managers in the iGaming sector now have an opportunity to access over two decades of affiliate marketing strategies, tactics and expertise.

Founded by Lee-Ann Johnstone, the CEO of news, training and events business AffiliateINSIDER , this new academy aids skills development for affiliate managers and graduates entering the digital marketplace.

Delivered in exclusive training venues to provide bespoke and tailored classes, it is built around proven strategies for helping affiliate programmes grow. Only up to a maximum of 10 delegates are permitted to enable significant 1 on 1 time within an intense learning schedule.

The advanced one-day program is tailored according to a pre-course questionnaire designed to customise content delivery to the delegates in the room. It is then backed up with a 90-day action plan from the tactics learnt on the day and includes a 30-minute personal Skype coaching call, while a detailed workbook and course notes are available to take away.

Johnstone commented: “ The affiliate coaching academy is an extension of the strategy and skills I’ve learnt working in this industry for almost two decades. It’s about helping promoting best practice and continued skills development coupled with a practical implementation of affiliate marketing techniques.”

She continued: “Our course content gives candidates the skills they need to grow their affiliate programme reach, negotiate the right commercials and build successful affiliate relationships.

“Affiliate marketing is an exciting constantly changing digital medium, but one that has predominantly been led by on the job training, which means skills are passed down and can become dated. It’s therefore vital that we create content and course structures that promote skills development and digital learnings for affiliate managers to remain at the top of their game!”

Rasmus Sojmark is the founder and CEO of SBC , a leading news and events company for the sports betting industry that joined forces with Johnstone in November of last year to launch the AffiliateINSIDER.

Sojmark added: “The Affiliate Coaching Academy is a natural extension of the AffiliateINSIDER ethos to promote skills development and knowledge sharing in the affiliate space. For this reason, launching this exclusive academy made sense on so many levels.

“Our clients and partners can now benefit from tailor made learning opportunities and access a level of skills development not offered anywhere else. Lee-Ann has a vast amount of experience working across a wide range of industries, which is what makes this opportunity so unique.

“We are very excited to offer this service to both individuals and companies who wish to grow their affiliate business and improve their affiliate partnerships .”

For more information about the course content and booking dates, please contact AffiliateINSIDER sales team: sales@affiliateinsider.com 

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Affiliate Announcements

Meet the first four speakers of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference!

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Meet the first four speakers of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference!

Speakers of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference: discussion of gaming affiliate programs and traffic in Russian and foreign networks

On November 15, Kyiv will host iGaming Affiliate Conference. The industry representatives will discuss the latest gambling and affiliate marketing trends as well as take an opportunity to establish new business partnership within the networking area. Meet the speakers of the event that have already confirmed attendance. They are e-business professionals and world-class experts on affiliate marketing.

The event will gather representatives of iGaming business and affiliate marketing. The platform consists of a conference, an exhibition, and a networking area. It will take place at Vsi. Svoi D12 (12 Desatinna St.), a popular center of cultural and business life in the city’s old town section.

Conference: space for expert’s presentations addressing affiliate marketing and iGaming.

Exhibition: a venue for iGaming representatives from across the globe. The companies will present software and hardware products.

Networking: business representatives will enjoy the enjoyable atmosphere with a VIP zone available to special guests.

 

Conference speakers and their presentations

iGaming is a highly competitive niche, which has to be taken into account while developing marketing strategies. Vladimir Luchaninov, Head of Acquisitions at Firelink Media, will tell about the pitfalls of eSports affiliate programs and provide the criteria of affiliate program choosing. He will also touch upon the challenges of risk assessment as well as advise on how to reach the highest profit from an affiliate program.

Kostiantyn Novofastovsky, Head of ClickFrog, will also cover the peculiarities of gaming websites. In his presentation titled ‘Buying traffic in gambling. How to avoid bots’, the speaker will feature the popular resources and compare CPM banners with ClickUnder.

Dmitry Petrenko, Head of SEO at Edu-cash.com Ukraine, will dwell on promotion in foreign networks. The speaker took part in website promotion to top positions in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Austria, and the CIS. He will reveal the secrets of leadership on foreign competitive websites emphasizing on grey promotion and organic traffic.

Myroslav Liaskovez, Founder at LeadMarketing and an author of the online course ‘Facebook Without the Fluff’, will shed light on traffic arbitrage techniques in social networks. The attendees will have a chance to find out about the frequent mistakes made by beginning arbitrage managers and effective advertising strategies for Facebook.

 

New speakers are coming soon! Visit the website Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference to follow the announcements.

Register to keep up with the trends of gambling affiliate marketing.

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Affiliate Success

Esports Entertainment Group Accelerating Affiliate Marketing Agreements With Additional 42 Esports Teams, Bringing Total To 176 Esports Teams

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Fwd: Esports Entertainment Group Accelerating Affiliate Marketing Agreements With Additional 42 Esports Teams, Bringing Total To 176 Esports Teams

Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (OTCQB:GMBL) (or the “Company”), a licensed online gambling company with a specific focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming, is pleased to announce Affiliate Marketing Agreements with 42 additional esports teams as the Company continues to ramp up affiliate marketing activities in support of its recent launch of vie.gg, the world’s first and most transparent esports betting exchange.

SIGNIFICANT ACCELERATION IN ESPORTS TEAM ADOPTION OF P2P WAGERING MODEL

This announcement, along with the announcement of 36 additional esports teams earlier this week, signifies a significant acceleration in adoption of the company’s P2P esports wagering platform by global esports teams. Teams are overwhelmingly pointing to the P2P model as highly desirable for their fans due to the fact “at VIE.gg a fan always wins”, as opposed to pitting fans against the “bookie” in the traditional model where the odds are heavily stacked against fans.

The addition of these 42 esports teams brings the total number of esports team affiliates to 176 since the Company’s first announcement on April 5th, representing a major milestone for Esports Entertainment Group.  The Company anticipates many more Affiliate Marketing Agreements with esports teams throughout 2018.

NEWEST ESPORT TEAM AFFILIATES FURTHER EXPAND GLOBAL REACH INTO SOUTH AMERICA

The addition of the 42 esports teams below represents further significant geographical penetration into the South American market.  The geographical distribution of our most recent esports team affiliate partners is as follows:

  • Brazil: 26
  • Peru: 6
  • Chile: 2
  • Venezuela: 2
  • Colombia: 1
  • Bolivia: 1
  • Mexico: 1
  • Guatemala: 1
  • Paraguay: 1
  • Dominican Republic: 1

Grant Johnson, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group, stated, “The acceleration of our esports team affiliates is quantifiable and unequivocal validation that our VIE.gg P2P model is best suited for esports teams and their fans.  I want to thank these new esports teams for their support and I look forward to working with them as VIE.gg affiliate partners.”

 

ABOUT VIE.GG

vie.gg offers bet exchange style wagering on esports events in a licensed, regulated and secured platform to the global esports audience, excluding jurisdictions that prohibit online gambling. vie.gg features wagering on the following esports games:

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)
  • League of Legends
  • Dota 2
  • Call of Duty
  • Overwatch
  • PUBG
  • Hearthstone
  • StarCraft II

 

About Esports Entertainment Group

Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. is a licensed online gambling company with a specific focus on esports wagering and 18+ gaming. Esports Entertainment offers bet exchange style wagering on esports events in a licensed, regulated and secure platform to the global esports audience at vie.gg.  In addition, Esports Entertainment intends to offer users from around the world the ability to participate in multi-player mobile and PC video game tournaments for cash prizes. Esports Entertainment is led by a team of industry professionals and technical experts from the online gambling and the video game industries, and esports. The Company holds licenses to conduct online gambling and 18+ gaming on a global basis in Curacao, Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada. The Company maintains offices in Antigua, Curacao and Warsaw, Poland. Esports Entertainment common stock is listed on the OTCQB under the symbol GMBL.  For more information visit www.esportsentertainmentgroup.com
.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
The information contained herein includes forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or to our future financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond our control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects our current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. The safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 protects companies from liability for their forward-looking statements if they comply with the requirements of the Act.

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