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  1. #1
    CityGuard's Avatar
    CityGuard is offline Former GPWA Program Manager
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    Smile Affiliate Manager Interview Series: Aaron O'Sullivan - 32Red Affiliates

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    32Red’s Aaron: He’d be just as happy digging holes.

    Age: 28
    Hometown: Gibraltar
    Favorite food: Chinese
    One book everyone must read: For Whom the Bell Tolls

    How did you get started in this business?
    I saw an advert on the 32Red Web site for a position in search engine marketing. I applied and was fortunate to get the job. Given I had no previous experience (just the little I had learned from the Internet) the company took a bit of a gamble on me, which is apt.

    After six months as SEM Manager, I became increasingly involved with traditional marketing until I was given responsibility for 32Red Affiliates in November last year.

    I still manage 32Red’s SEO/SEM policy and it’s an area where I’m keen to assist affiliates in. After all, if affiliates perform better in natural and paid-for search then they’re more likely to drive increased business to our products. Everyone’s a winner.

    Who have been the most influential people in your life, both as a person and a professional?
    I’ve always moved around a lot, so it’s hard to pinpoint a particular person. If I were to pick one, though, I would say my father. He’s always provided the right advice – both personally and professionally. Other than that, I would say my old dissertation supervisor at university. He made me realize what a little bit of thought and application could achieve.

    32Red says on its Web site that it was “built on principles of transparency, professionalism and sustainable profitability.” As marketing manager, how do you make sure the company lives up to that statement?
    Transparency is something 32Red has to provide as a PLC (listed on the London Stock Exchange, AIM). Everything has to be accountable and disclosed to the board, shareholders and the general public, and for that reason both players and affiliates are assured of a fair deal. As a marketing manager I make sure the terms and conditions are made available and clear. I take a personal approach to helping affiliates, too, answering questions and going through earnings reports so they can see the processes involved. Moreover, I started the current 40% commission rate for 32Red Casino and 32Red Poker. No tiers, no complicated earning ceilings, and no unattainable high-rate gimmicks – all affiliates earn 40% on their referred players’ rake or casino losses.

    Professionalism is a must for any business if they want to succeed. The whole 32Red team is aware of the professional standards set in the past and is enthusiastic about not only maintaining them but eventually surpassing our targets. As a manager I’m motivated by the enthusiasm of the directors, but more so by affiliates, who are devoted and eager, want to work harder and push the affiliate program further. I simply make sure the system works for them, from the center itself, to creatives and the personal relationships I have with affiliates.

    Sustainability is key. Affiliate relationships must be mutually supportive so that both the merchant and affiliate can grow. If there is balance, then the operator and affiliate can reward each other accordingly.

    In January, 32Red Casino won Best Casino in the Casinomeister 2007 awards for a fifth straight year. Give us three reasons why this has been possible.
    Listening and responding to players.
    Our excellent player support team.

    What are the three most important aspects of a successful relationship between an affiliate and an affiliate manager?
    Proficiency. If an affiliate manager cannot provide a service quickly and efficiently so that the affiliate has the tools he or she needs to earn, then there can be no such relationship.

    Honesty. Affiliates are incredibly savvy and can spot BS immediately. It’s better to be completely honest about problems and discuss difficult affiliate enquiries with them, rather than fobbing them off with indistinct rubbish. In doing so we make the affiliate system here more robust and I can develop better working relationships with our partners.

    Communication. A healthy affiliate relationship needs discourse. We need to know what we can do to help and the affiliate needs to know what our products are offering their players.

    32Red Affiliates represents four brands – 32Red Casino, 32Red Mobile, 32Red Poker and Dash Casino. How does marketing each brand differ from the others? What kinds of player does each brand appeal to and what approaches work best for each?
    Each product and brand requires a lot of different work. Finding the right copy, imagery and concept to fit the player profile of each is difficult and it’s something the whole team spends a long time researching and getting right.

    32Red Casino is promoted as being edgy, thrilling, upfront and honest. 32Red Poker and 32Red Mobile are marketed similarly but with slight variations caused by the product. Dash is marketed to those who just want to play in a hurry, receiving bonuses instantly without having to contact player support.

    Bingo, however, is something entirely different. Having helped write the Web site and now being involved in marketing the product, I can comfortably say the players are so far removed from casino and poker that it requires an entirely new approach. The same will be true for our existing affiliates should they want to try their hand at promoting 32Red Bingo.

    We’ll be launching our bingo affiliate program soon and will be providing the information needed by affiliates to get the most out of 32Red Bingo. In brief, though, the key is to keep the copy, imagery and promotions light, positive and to promote the social/community aspects of bingo.

    Incidentally, should anyone want more information on the 32Red Bingo affiliate program they can join our mailing list by contacting me on

    In March, 32Red affiliate partners began receiving a flat rate of 40% of net win on 32Red Casino and 35% flat rate on Dash Casino. What went into the decision to make this change?
    Many affiliate programs offer generous commission rates, but generally the rates are tied to achieving a certain amount of revenue, or in a deal that lasts only one month, or require a certain number of sign-ups. Basically, they’re largely unachievable to all but the biggest affiliates. We believe that all players are valuable and that referrers should receive a fair commission for their efforts. Overall, I think the flat rate reflects the 32Red Affiliates philosophy: transparent, fair and profitable.

    Do you gamble online?
    I play a little online poker, usually Texas Hold’em. I like to make the odd sports bet, too, mainly on football and the horses.

    You are 28 years old. Do you see yourself spending the rest of your professional life in the online gaming industry? What other occupations do you think you’d be good at?
    I’m really enjoying my time at 32Red as the work is so incredibly varied and challenging. I certainly don’t see me leaving the industry or 32Red in the near future.

    I used to be an archaeologist and I think I was pretty good at it. If I were to leave the gaming industry then I would be happy to go back to digging holes again.

    An archaeologist? How did you get into archaeology?
    I’ve always liked history, but not the books and the stuffy libraries. So when I went to uni I chose to study archaeology, hoping to get my hands dirty and to actually touch the past. I subsequently spent most of my time in the uni library! That said, the excavations in the summer were excellent and made all the long hours of studying worthwhile.

    Hiking and gliding are two of your hobbies. Explain what you like about each one.
    Ahh, Facebook – nothing is private anymore! Haha. I like the same thing about both, in that both get you away from everyday life, are a great release and a challenge.

    If you were going to be stranded in the deep woods for a week during a hiking trip, what three people would you want with you?
    My best mate; he’s always got a crap joke to tell (so bad that they’re funny) and a guitar. Plus I know he’s a good walker (we walked across Spain together).

    Gordon Ramsay – I can’t cook.

    Scarlett Johanssen – In case Gordon wants a break. Seriously, do I need to explain why?

    How many songs are on your iPod? Give us a few examples of the type of music you enjoy listening to.
    You know what, not that many. Probably about 80 songs, but I’m forever changing them about. Doesn’t make sense, I know….

    Describe your itinerary for a perfect day.
    Wake up about 10, pick up my rucksack, jump on my motorbike and ride up into the Andalucían Mountains. Hike around a bit, find a tapas bar and then ride back to Gibraltar in time for a few beers with my mates. Mountains can be swapped for beach depending on the weather!
    I have left the industry and earned a law degree at Indiana University Bloomington, Maurer School of Law. Here are ways to stay in touch with me:
    > Facebook:
    > LinkedIn:
    > Skype: StevenCorfman
    > Phone: +1 617 785 9324

    Inquiries intended for an administrator or staff member can be directed to Anthony Telesca through the forum (username Anthony) or to the general contact address manager AT gpwa DOT org.

  2. #2
    bonustreak's Avatar
    bonustreak is offline Private Member
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    March 2006
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    Nice read!! I just started working with 32Red again and thought I would read up on Aaron to see how he ticks. Nice read and looking forward to working with you!!

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