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    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affliiate Manager Interview Series | Gavin Walters - bet365

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    Your first job in the online gaming industry was with bet365, and you've stayed with them for more than five years. Tell us about how you came to work there and the different roles you've had within the company.
    My career at bet365 came about a little by chance and being at the right place at the right time. It was during my graduation day. A member of the Coates family was receiving an honorary degree. He began to talk about bet365 and the early success the business had had during his speech, and that made me immediately decide that I wanted to explore opportunities at bet365. Fortuitously for me I was accepted into their graduate program, in which I spent two years on rotation throughout the company, giving me insight and experience in the individual departments that make up the bet365 operation. After spending time with the affiliate marketing team I decided that this was where I wanted to begin my career in the gambling industry and I have not looked back. This role suited my background in terms of education and interests and I now know I made a great decision.

    You were previously the affiliate manager for games and bingo, but are now working more with sportsbook affiliates, correct? What are the differences in promoting the two gaming verticals? What new challenges are you finding in promoting the sportsbook? Do you miss anything about games and bingo?
    Yes, at the beginning of this year I moved from a gaming-specific base of affiliates to sportsbook affiliates. I had previously worked very closely with sportsbook affiliates in my gaming role as numerous affiliates do promote across multiple verticals. In addition to this, my experience before my affiliate manager role was purely sportsbook too, so my knowledge of this product was broad and deep.

    I also welcome challenges and enjoy these as part of my role. There will always continue to be challenges as I like to be proactive and try and push boundaries. My competitive nature is often the drive behind this and as I love challenging myself, it is no surprise that such challenges occur, but I equally enjoy overcoming them each time.

    The main thing I miss about games and bingo is the monthly element of deals; everything pretty much ran month on month and I found this particularly beneficial with my style of working. Of course I also miss the affiliates and the chance to work with them and share many a good night with them at events and conferences.

    How important is live streaming to the sportsbook product? How much more is wagered on events that have live streams, compared to those that do not have live streams available?
    Live streaming is a big part of the bet365 sportsbook product. bet365 continues to secure more live streams and now offers an industry-leading amount to our players. This currently stands at over 50,000 events per year.

    As a rule we do tend to see more turnover on events that are live streamed. One of the reasons for increased turnover is the changing opinions of players as the event progresses. A pre-match opinion can quickly change after just five minutes and with this often comes a further bet. But the key factor to aid increased turnover with a live-streamed event is the amount of markets available for bet365 players.

    bet365 runs its own affiliate program. What are the advantages for affiliates in working with a program that only represents one brand as opposed to multiple online casino brands?
    The beauty of the bet365 affiliate program is the direct relationship you have with the brand you are promoting. Trust and transparency are at the forefront of the way that the program is managed. We also have our own unique affiliate backend and this feature is something that has been spoken highly of by our affiliate partners, due to the simplicity of pulling new creative, tracking links and analyzing statistics.

    It is important to remember that bet365 offers multiple products within one brand, so affiliates can promote any of the following products – sports, casino, poker, bingo, games, financials and mobile – all from our affiliate program.

    How do you see the GPWA fitting into bet365's marketing efforts? Why is forum participation important for affiliate managers and affiliate programs in general?
    For some affiliates forums are a key source of information for their affiliate activity and from this, recommendations on programs to join can emerge from threads and reviews. bet365 has partnered with the GPWA for many years now and we do feel it is an important part of our strategy to ensure that bet365 is a brand that isthat is constantly considered by both new and existing affiliates as one to promote.

    I myself have been among the top monthly posters within the affiliate manager participation rankings and the main reason for this is to interact with affiliates who require help with anything related to their bet365 marketing efforts. Of course anything specific would be dealt with via e-mail but as a first point of call some affiliates do prefer to open up a discussion within a forum. As with any partnership communication is key, and the GPWA provides a further option for both affiliates and affiliate managers alike.

    In order to get paid commission by bet365, affiliates must have at least five active referred customers. Many small affiliates are not fans of terms and conditions such as these, as they may struggle to meet that threshold. Why does bet365 include that clause in their affiliate contract?
    The five-player target is an initial benchmark affiliates must achieve before they can withdraw earnings from their account. It is important to note that this is a onetime target and once any account has referred five active players it becomes irrelevant.

    We are part of a performance-related industry and as such the first benchmark for an affiliate is five active players.

    A key point I would like to mention is the support that the bet365 affiliate team is able to provide. Being a team of a substantial number of staff we are able to offer all affiliates top-level support, and it is just as important to us that affiliates achieve the five-player mark as it is for affiliates themselves. Our knowledge is available for affiliates established or new, and the five-player term should only be looked at positively as the more players on an affiliate account the greater the chances of earning more commission.

    It's one thing to bring in new people to a site. It's another thing entirely to get them to stick around. What does bet365 do to retain players sent by affiliates?
    Although you may think our opening offer is just an acquisition channel, it also plays a huge part in ensuring the new players spend time at bet365. We offer the greatest introductory bonus and this allows players to place numerous bets and in the process they spend time browsing through the bet365 site and getting used to its features and general functionality. When players then become comfortable it is more likely they will return and of course deposit again.

    We of course have an excellent CRM team in place that works hard on engaging our players but I am not going to disclose our strategies here other than to say they work very well and affiliates enjoy fantastic player values that aid the all-important commissions that they earn!

    Social media is also playing its part, and one of the features that you can find on Twitter is "In-Play with Ray," which works in conjunction with our TV advertising around sporting fixtures.

    Describe the office culture at bet365. If there were a fly on the wall, what are some of the topics of conversation it'd hear about at the water cooler?
    Being such a large team you can find few moments of silence! As well as the sounds of mouse clicks, keyboard pushing and general business we are often in conversations about what we are working on and sharing ideas and information.

    We do have a water cooler, actually, but we call it the "water hole," and yes, you will find in-depth conversations about fantasy football and previous nights out or upcoming ones.

    As a relatively young team there is rarely a lack of conversation and positive atmosphere and with this comes enthusiasm and passion for all matters related to the work that we do (and love), so there is always plenty to talk about.

    What do you know about the industry now that you wish you'd known when you first started?
    An obvious answer but I would have liked to have known everything I know now back then. Having an idea on where markets were going, what offers would work best, certain creatives to use and from my position all the affiliates I could possibly work with would have been great.

    We do work in a fast-paced industry, so it's always about reacting as quickly as you can.

    How do you ensure that payments are sent out on time? And when do your payments go out?
    We have a dedicated payments team that ensures our payments are always dealt with effectively, and we have multiple payment options to ensure affiliates can receive their commission in a convenient way for them.

    Where do you think the industry will be in five years?
    I would like to see all the gambling products we know and have watched evolve over the past few years take another step forward. Sports in particular has seen the importance of in-play betting and then quickly after we have seen a need for live streaming. It's hard to say what will play a part in the next five years but as the profile of gambling continues to be raised we could find ourselves in an "anything can happen" position, which would be exciting for all involved.

    When you were in school at Staffordshire University, did you ever think you'd be working in the online gambling industry?
    I really didn't. My first role outside of university was working for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in the Global Banking and Treasury Reserve. However, I have always had a passion for sport and marketing so was able to apply key skills I learned from my first position and combine them with my true passions and therefore was able to find the perfect role that was suited to me.

    Have you lived in England your entire life? If work weren't a limiting factor, where would you choose to live, if you could live anywhere?
    Yes, I have lived in England my whole life. I think an ideal move abroad for me would have to be Los Angeles or Melbourne/Sydney, Australia. The reason for this is largely down to food. I am a particularly fussy eater and these countries at least offer food that I know I will enjoy. Plus the locations themselves are awesome! I would lean toward LA as I have visited there before and it was amazing and the lifestyle suits. Then again I'm not sure who wouldn't be happy out there!?

    If someone from out of town were to visit you, where is the one place you would have to take them?
    Although there is an abundance of options in Stoke it would have to be a small venture out of the center to Alton Towers. Having a huge theme park on our doorstep is a massive perk so this would have to be the destination of choice.

    Rumor has it you've run a race or two against Mo Farah. How did that turn out for you? How much fun is it to watch someone you used to compete against win gold medals at the Olympics – in your home country, no less?
    I certainly did. I used to be pretty handy at middle/long distance running and competed from the age of 10 until around 24. Although I did compete for my university I think it was around this time that my priorities starting shifting and I started looking elsewhere for sporting challenges.

    To be honest I am pretty competitive, so although I wish it had been me collecting the gold, it is a great story for me to tell and a fantastic result for the GB team.

    Do you still run? What's your favorite distance? Have you ever run a marathon, or do you plan to in the future?
    I do still run but only to keep fit as I tie it with the gym.

    My favorite distance is around two to three miles. Towards the end of my athletics career I focused on the 3000m steeple chase, which is just under two miles, as any longer distance was too difficult to compete in competitively unless I trained every day. These days the shorter the better!

    I would like to run a marathon but I am certainly in no hurry just yet. Maybe in the next five years as I am quite keen on ticking this off my list.

    What is your favorite movie?
    Without Limits. This is a film about an athlete called Steve Prefontaine. He was American and a high-caliber athlete. Also, Nike is founded during the time the film takes place, and it also references a few other cool things. I can't say any more as it may ruin the film for anybody who has not watched it, but it is based on a true story and was a truly inspirational film for me, especially when I was competing.

    If you had a theme song, what would it be?
    "Play Hard," by David Guetta, featuring vocals from Ne-Yo and Akon. It uses the melody of the huge tune "Better off Alone," by Alice DeeJay, which was one of my all-time favorite songs as a kid. This tune would get me fired up for anything.

    If we picked up your iPod and pressed play, what song would be playing?
    I can pretty much guarantee it will be a dance or house track as that's pretty much all I listen to. A track that I do listen to a lot though is Duke Dumont's "The Giver." This is such a good track and it's not getting old for me.

    If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
    I've been on plenty of beach holidays, party holidays and even a few U.K. breaks but I think I would go for an experience holiday given the choice. So perhaps a safari combined with a luxury resort. Something different like this would be an amazing holiday. If I had the money to go and do this now I would be looking in more detail, but as it is, I will be heading to Vegas next year to fully experience the nightlife when I attend my friend's stag party.

    If you could have dinner with three other people, living or dead, who would they be?
    Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) from The Hangover films, Mollie King from The Saturdays and Michael Scott (Steve Carell) from the U.S. version of The Office.

    This has to be a recipe for a pretty entertaining dinner!

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    Nice interview Gavin - you should def have a crack at a marathon at least once in your life.

    I ran London last year and tell people how I actually beat Mo Farah! (this was only because he planned to run the 1st half of the race for training and got there before I'd probably tun 5 miles!)

    There's a quote from the legendary Czech athlete Emil Zatopek that best sums it up...

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    Very nice interview Gavin, warm regards and hope to see you at Amsterdam

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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeyBoy View Post
    Nice interview Gavin - you should def have a crack at a marathon at least once in your life.

    I ran London last year and tell people how I actually beat Mo Farah! (this was only because he planned to run the 1st half of the race for training and got there before I'd probably tun 5 miles!)

    There's a quote from the legendary Czech athlete Emil Zatopek that best sums it up...

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    You guys that run marathons are a special kind of nutter.
    I take my hat off to you. It is something that I would never have the mental capacity to do.
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    Anthony-Coral is offline Former Employee of Coral
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    Arrrr you could Ren. Although, having said that, I do think I went a little bit crazy around 18 miles!


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    Great interview. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you.
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    I always enjoy reading the manager interviews as it offers an insight we wouldn't always get otherwise, but sometimes we can learn a bit about them in just normal posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeyBoy View Post
    Although, having said that, I do think I went a little bit crazy around 18 miles!
    So "that's" why you became an affiliate manager....and I thought it had something to do with your admiration of Martyn's shoe collection....

    Rick
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeyBoy View Post
    Arrrr you could Ren. Although, having said that, I do think I went a little bit crazy around 18 miles!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    No chance. 14km is the most I've done and I was almost crazy by the end of that. You have to really love running to be able to do a marathon.
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    Wow Rick, the shoe collection is a major GPWA call-back... That must be over 12 months ago!


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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeyBoy View Post
    Wow Rick, the shoe collection is a major GPWA call-back... That must be over 12 months ago!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yeah and I'm pretty sure Martyn's shoe collection now belongs to Cobus
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    Nice one.
    Err Marathon would be awesome, but yep, got to be a tough one.
    Not sure my legs AND brain would last long enough. I used to love 10K. More than 5K as i found it easier in a way (slower pace to start with, more time to "warm up" and get to max speed). But 42?? Ouch... Maybe some day...

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    I have never run in a marathon, not sure how well I would be able to anymore.....

    Now if we could level the field a bit and everyone ran it in combat boots wearing a pack like we did in the late 70's, then I would feel....oops did I really put a date on that?.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    I have never run in a marathon, not sure how well I would be able to anymore.....

    Now if we could level the field a bit and everyone ran it in combat boots wearing a pack like we did in the late 70's, then I would feel....oops did I really put a date on that?.....

    Rick
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    LOL Nice one Rick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renee View Post
    You guys that run marathons are a special kind of nutter.
    I take my hat off to you. It is something that I would never have the mental capacity to do.
    Same here. I've always been a short distance sprinter than a long distance runner. I couldn't even push myself to run two miles!

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    Thanks Gavin, top bloke, as are all of the 365 affiliate team. Always interesting to get an insight into people. The affiliate side of the interview just reinforces how strong bet365 is as a program and how many miles ahead it is of other programs.

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    Apparently the 2 years trainee school pays off. In every Bet365 position one can feel the difference. Even the girl at Czech chat can give always proper response. What a difference to for example crazy Bwin with their automatic responses.

    I want to see Bet365 in Italy soon, when France is probably dead. Also not sure why they have not translated into Finnish and ex-Yugoslavian languages. Currently disappeared from Belgium and Netherlands was always dead Those are good markets.
    There is no upper age limit but people over 60 years old are not recommended to trade bitcoin in consideration of price volatility and risk tolerance.

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