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    GPWA Aaron is offline Private Member
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series: Samantha Pacquiao - Firebrand Affiliates

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    Before we get to Firebrand, we have to ask this: Are you related to Manny Pacquiao? Do you ever get tired of being asked that question? And what is it like sharing a last name with one of the most famous people in the world?

    (Laughing) No, I'm not related to the best pound-for-pound boxer. But yes, I do get that a lot! I would love to be related to the best pound-for-pound boxer of our time. He makes me even more proud to be a Filipino.

    All right, now let's shift to Firebrand. The two brands Firebrand represents, Atlantis Gold Casino and Treasure Island Jackpot, use BetOnSoft software. For affiliates who are unfamiliar with BetOnSoft, please describe the player experience with BetOnSoft. How does it differ from Playtech or Microgaming?

    Well, based on our customer's feedback, BetOnSoft somehow edges the others with the crispness and sharpness of the graphics and how well they incorporate the theme of the games down to the smallest detail. And even with this, the games load faster. Our players also love the extra features they get from combinations like bonus games, etc.

    Treasure Island Jackpots does something interesting with bonuses. It offers free spins on particular games. Are these types of bonuses more successful than traditional bonuses?

    It's definitely easier to market a new game when we use free spins. We want the players to be able to try these games for free so they get the actual experience. And we believe that's what they want and that's why it's working. By the way this is not just on Treasure Island. We do the same with Atlantis Gold.

    Let's clear something up about U.S. players. In the forums, you mentioned that Firebrand sites do not accept U.S. players. One affiliate from the U.S. managed to sign up for a player account. When we asked the live help at Atlantis Gold, we were told that U.S. players were accepted, but there were some "restricted zones." So there seems to be some confusion surrounding the issue. What geographic restrictions are in place on the sites that Firebrand represents?

    As you probably know the online gaming landscape is continually changing and we do our best to keep up to speed with all new developments. Unfortunately we have at times restricted certain areas and then revisited at a later time. We always try to keep our affiliates in the loop if there is a change in policy. At the moment our (U.S.) exclusions are Washington, Kentucky and Maryland.

    How long have you been working in the online gaming industry?

    I have been working in this industry for six years now. I started out in customer service and worked my way up to marketing and eventually over to affiliate management.

    How did you get your start in the online gaming industry?

    Same old story. A friend of mine asked me to apply because they were hiring. I had no experience whatsoever but somehow I got intrigued in the industry (even though I don't gamble at all). So I gave it a shot. Never thought I would make it this far. It's been a sweet and awesome journey.

    Did you gamble at all before joining the industry?

    Not at all. Unless (the) Monopoly DEAL card game is considered gambling? (laughs)

    It's one thing to bring in a new person to a site. It's another thing entirely to get them to stick around. What does Firebrand do to retain players sent by affiliates?

    We try to come up with a bunch of promotions and special draws weekly so the players have something to look forward to.
    • We give out free spins every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays. The spins are on different games each time so they have a chance to try all the games.
    • We also have special bonus matches every weekend.
    • We hold daily freeroll tournaments and blackjack tournaments. Buy-in amounts are small but they get a huge prize pool in exchange. We want to make sure they get excellent value for their money.
    • We conduct weekly draws and try our best to make it unique every week. (i.e. Dining in the sky, winning six bottles of the most expensive and strongest beer in the world, boarding along the slopes of a live volcano in Nicaragua, etc.). Players can win this and we'll take care of everything from the logistics to the expenses of course. Winners are contacted through phone and e-mail to inform them that they've won. So far all the winners have been very happy. We want to give them experiences rather than material things. Experiences are more memorable.


    What do affiliates need to know about Firebrand sites in order to effectively market them?

    Well, I believe our best selling points would be the following:
    • Good conversions
    • High-value of players
    • Good retention
    • In addition we accept more markets with fewer restrictions. This is because BetOnSoft has always been known for their reliable card processing. Thanks BetOnSoft!


    What distinguishes Firebrand Affiliates from other affiliate programs?

    As I mentioned earlier, we have great conversions for our affiliates. Secondly, commissions are always complete and on time. And third, and I don't mean to be immodest, a lot of the testimonials we receive are that we have great account managers that are always at the affiliate's service. We always do our best to assist our affiliates with whatever questions or requests they have. We can always be reached through Skype or email.

    Lots of affiliates have a tough time explaining their job to family members and friends. How well do the people in your life understand what you do for living? What do you tell them?

    I just simply tell it as it is. The way I see it, all online games are basically the same. Be it those little games in Facebook or those role-play online games. They are all games online that may include money (if you want to purchase more coins for more power or whatever). So why make online gambling any different? This is just my opinion. I may be wrong. But this is how I see it or explain it. Luckily no one in my family is judgmental. They know that business is business. As long as I am not stepping on anyone's toes and I am making an honest living, then they have nothing to worry about.

    One of the trickiest aspects of your job has to be managing the volume of correspondence and communications with lots of affiliates. How do you manage the process? What tips can you offer others in terms of handling it?

    I don't let my inbox dictate my day. I sit down and plan or prioritize what is most important before I dive into my e-mails. I see to it that our response is fast and won't let 24 hours pass to have any affiliates wait for a response. Never let things pile up for the next day!

    Do you prefer communicating via e-mail, Skype or phone?

    I guess I would have to say phone/Skype because I feel that I am connecting with them on a more personal level when I hear their voice. But e-mails are still good as well because I like having a soft copy of the correspondence on hand if ever I need to back track on a request.

    What do you know about the industry now that you wish you knew when you first started?

    Simple. That the industry is always changing. When I first started, since of course I had no experience with the industry yet, I tried to stick to the basics. (What works, what is tested, etc.) But we should also always try to think out of the box to stand out.

    How do you ensure that payments are sent out on time? And when do your payments go out?

    The1st and 2nd of each month. We make sure we are in sync with the finance department and the party that delivers the payments. Every payment is first priority and is prepared during the 1st of the month, ready for sending immediately.

    Where do you think the industry will be in five years?

    I see interesting growth in social gaming. And the influx of land-based casinos coming on board. I personally think this will be good for the credibility of the industry overall.

    If someone from out of town were to visit you, where is the one place you would have to take them?

    I would take them to Boracay. It's the best white sand beach in the world! And then we could dine on the beach with Filipino food. No duck fetus (balut),I promise.

    Where do you live now?

    Manila, Philippines.

    What's the best movie food?

    Chimara popcorn, sour cream and chives flavor. Plus a large cup of cold soda. Oh my now you're making me crave!

    What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it? And did you read it on an e-reader? Or do you need to have a copy of the physical book in your hand?

    Twilight Saga. I'm Team Edward! Guilty as charged! (Laughs). I believe us women need a dose of romance every now and then even if it's just through books so yeah I really enjoyed it!

    And yes I read the thick physical books of Twilight. For some reason I don't enjoy reading on an eBook. Hurts my eyes. Plus I already have my face buried on my computer/smart phone for more than 8 hours a day so my eyes need a break. (Laughs)

    What is your favorite movie?

    Off the top of my head, Titanic. Yes I'm sure you can now tell I'm a hopeless romantic! Well, I don't just like it because of Jack and Rose's love story, but because of the attention to detail James Cameron had while directing the movie. I watched the making. Did you know that they even looked for the same exact carpet makers that made the carpets of the R.M.S Titanic? Everything from the china, table settings, wood carvings, all look exactly the same as the original. Such dedication and thoroughness!

    If you had a theme song, what would it be?

    That's a tough one.I cant think of anything as of the moment. "Single Ladies" by Beyonce? (laughs)

    If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?

    Anywhere there's snow. Because that's the one thing we can never ever have here in the Philippines. I would go on a trip around the world. I'd love to go see the beautiful cherry blossoms in China, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben, the list goes onů

    If you could have dinner with three other people, living or dead, who would they be?

    The whole cast of Friends. Because I miss that sitcom. I watch reruns of it all day everyday. Oh, and Amelia Earhart (so I can ask her exactly how she disappeared).

    What would you do if you just inherited a pizzeria from your uncle?

    I would keep it and run it. Pizza is good business!

    What are three things that no one knows about you?
    1. My dream job as a little girl was to become a commercial model of a Johnson and Johnson product.
    2. I took some drum lessons
    3. I know a bit of sign language

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    Anthony (19 September 2012), casinogod (24 September 2012), TheGamblingGuru (19 September 2012)

  3. #2
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    Great interview, thanks for sharing Samantha!

    I am here to help if you have any issues with an affiliate program.
    Become involved in GPWA to truly make the association your own:
    Apply for Private Membership | Apply for the GPWA Seal | Partner with a GPWA Sponsor | Volunteer as a Moderator


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    samantha.pacquiao (20 September 2012)

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    Samantha, great interview....but I think you made a mistake with the first question.....

    I think you should have mentioned that although you aren't related he is a friend and visits affiliates that refuse to sign up and start promoting you.....

    ....oops.....where is that signup link.....

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    Maria F is offline No longer with Harbour Gaming Affiliates
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    Great interview Samantha!

    I would also love to know where Amelia is LOL

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    I see to it that our response is fast and won't let 24 hours pass to have any affiliates wait for a response. Never let things pile up for the next day!
    I am still waiting for a response from the 7th

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    Nice interview Samantha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by playcasino1 View Post
    I am still waiting for a response from the 7th
    Hey Kevin!

    I didnt forget about you. Just got back from my week and half leave, I think Nayomhi have informed you of that. I'll get in touch with you today and send you what you need. You're so sweet you read the interview! Talk soon!

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    Thanks Anthony, Maria and Cass!

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    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    Samantha, great interview....but I think you made a mistake with the first question.....

    I think you should have mentioned that although you aren't related he is a friend and visits affiliates that refuse to sign up and start promoting you.....

    ....oops.....where is that signup link.....

    Rick
    Universal4

    lol @ Rick.. i could have easily said he's my husband and pay him to tag along in conferences.. i could get a lot of sign ups from that

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    Yep, Join now or Manny will pay you a visit and he can be VERY convincing.....lol

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    Awesome interview! Really enjoyed reading this one allot . Its also great to have a connection on the forum here to Manila. (haha)

    Hey i would eat balut any day, anytime, any place but i will not eat blood pudding.

    Maybe some day you can help us with a Balik bayan box to Quezon city.

    I have a question - Do you play Tongits?

    Welcome to GPWA

    oh and Samantha if you wanna good laugh read this thread about balut (my first time eating it) read below.. lol

    https://www.gpwa.org/forum/eatting-f...ut-198757.html
    Last edited by GFPC; 20 September 2012 at 3:05 pm.

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    I'm also team Edward!
    For some reason I find nerdy/geeky looking guys more attractive than a guy who looks like a cloud.
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