Anders Granström, CEO and Chief Editor at Sportnyhet AB joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
How did you first get into the affiliate space, and were you always focused on the iGaming sector?
I built my first sports website in 2008 and it was focused on Football World Cup 2010 in South Africa. That is when I tried being an iGaming affiliate for the first time. My results were ok, but not enough to see the full potential. I have been affiliate since 2008, but it was until 2018 that I got totally focused on iGaming.
Anders Granström, CEO and Chief Editor at Sportnyhet AB.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in emerging markets around the world?
Were are the no 1 in Sweden when it comes to championship sites in hockey and football. We are looking at some other markets now, but those are all established markets. We need huge volumes of traffic to be interested, so the market needs to be ‘mature’.
Which sports sectors are you most active in?
Hockey and football. We run the biggest Hockey World Championship site, Euro & World Cup Football site in Sweden. But we are also establishing ourselves as no1 in handball as well.
What makes you different to other affiliates in the space?
We have millions of visitors on our sites every year. We are also accredited sports journalists and that gets us to ‘where the action is’. We attend sports events, meet and interview the players and leaders in Football and Hockey. I think that sets us apart from a majority of affiliates.
How does your editorial approach perform in comparison to other sports betting affiliates?
I cannot say for sure (because I do not know exactly how the others are performing), but we can promote a special offer and ‘building up to it’ and also work a lot with retention. During the Junior Hockey World Championship we had two of our journalists (whom used to play hockey in the same team) compete at who was better at betting on the outcome of Sweden’s matches.
That got a lot of attention and interest, and even though it was betting tips, (where we promoted a single operator) people perceived it as a competition and as entertainment.
How has the Coronavirus changed your outlook on the iGaming affiliate market?
The virus never entered my mind when doing the SWOT analysis, that is one thing I can say for sure. I see this a temporarily setback (be it a big one) and that things will get back to ‘normal’ again. It has not changed my outlook that much, we will still work with betting and hope to improve as much as possible. Maybe the operators will be a little cautious at first, so it will be a little tougher in that period.
Have you considered adding casino to your affiliate offerings?
Yes, we have looked into this before COVID-19, but the virus has really made it clear that casino is more ‘robust’ than sports betting, at least from this particular perspective.
Are you concerned by the impact on the affiliate sector from shifting regulatory environments?
Yes and no. Since we work a lot with editorial content and promote operators that way, maybe we would even benefit from harder regulation when compared to affiliates that work with top lists and so on. Also, if the rules about marketing would be harder regulated, the operators would have to look for other types of cooperation for branding – and that is were we can come in with our many visitors.
It is not a coincidence that Betsson is the main sponsor for Swedish Hockey League and that Unibet is the main sponsor for Allsvenskan (the highest football league in Sweden).
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your traffic? Are you focusing on SEO? PPC? Any other traffic source?
About 95% of our traffic is SEO, 3% is social media and 2% direct visitors. We are looking into improving traffic from social media and we think that we have a lot to gain there.
What can operators do to increase support from affiliates?
Talking and thinking more about the big picture in customer acquisition. I understand that high amounts of FTD’s (NDP etc) are important but it is a very blunt way to measure if the partnership was successful or not.
I think it works when it comes to being on a top list for best operators, but when working with editorial content and lots of retention, you can get a value greater than just many FTD’s. Try and see what is unique with the affiliate you are talking to and try to find a way to harness and develop that. If I was able to work with such an operator I would gladly to that for many, many years to come.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
SEO is really a good place to start. Work hard, always be interested in learning and trying out new stuff. Listen to what the customer (operator) is interested in and find ways to make that happen. And never give up of course.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
Meetings, meetings and meetings. To able to sit down with operators and talk business.
If there are more areas for meetings and if there were more possibilities for affiliates to contact and meet each other, that would be great.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
No, but I would really like to visit SiGMA Malta.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all business is done between people, not just companies!
Staying in my cabin with my family. Renovating and growing vegetables is really peaceful.
A 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris and Super System 2 by Doyle Brunson.
Where would you relocate with family if you had to pick one city?
I don’t think I want to relocate, but I wouldn’t mind having a few different homes to visit. Portugal is nice.
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