• Saturday, June 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

AFCON is an important tournament and we wanted to reflect that excitement – Gossy Ukanwoke

AFCON is an important tournament and we wanted to reflect that excitement – Gossy Ukanwoke

Following the success recorded from the AFKON campaign tagged #ThatAFKONFeeling, where two BetKing customers won brand new SUVs during the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON). BetKing, since its launch into the Nigerian market in 2018 has revolutionised the sports gaming industry. In this interview, Gossy Ukanwoke, managing director, BetKing Nigeria, shed light on how the company leveraged its AFKON Campaign to delight customers as well as its 4th Anniversary celebration. SEYI JOHN-SALAU brings the Excerpts:

Can you speak more on the BetKing AFKON Promo? What was the drive behind the campaign?

We wanted to own the AFCON tournament by creating a direct link between our brand tagline- that BetKing Feeling with the feeling you get when your team scores a goal. AFCON is an important tournament on the African continent with strong emotions running throughout, and we wanted to reflect that and embody the excitement of it.

This was the perfect time and space for BetKing to be involved in spreading THAT FEELING. Our goal was to create a campaign that engaged our customers to participate and watch the games.

How many entries did BetKing receive for its AFKON promo and what were the modalities of selecting the winners?

For our AFCON Promo, we received over 100,000 entries that qualified under the criteria we had set. Our customers were required to place a bet of a minimum N 500 on an accumulator with at least 5 selections, at 1.20 odds per selection. We also needed them to include one 2021 Africa Cup of Nations event in their selections.

We then carried a random spin selection out of all the qualifying tickets to select our winners. We had 3 SUVs to give to winning customers. We found 2 customers and we are still on the hunt for the 3rd customer to win the final SUV. We also gave our customers and agents an all-expense-paid trip to watch the AFCON finals in Cameroon.

How would you describe Nigerians’ passion for football, especially during the 2021 AFCON tournament?

Football is a unifying event in Nigeria, especially when Nigeria is participating and doing well. You can see how Nigerians come together to support their favourite clubs and teams across different leagues.

There is a lot more passion when it is Nigeria playing and the AFCON is a competition where we have had relative success as a Country, and we are always hopeful that Nigeria wins the trophy again. In the 2021 AFCON finals, there was a lot of expectation from Nigerians, me included. We had hoped that Nigeria would make it to the finals and win the tournament due to the squad we had and how well we played in the group stage.

In your opinion, did the Super Eagles’ early exit from the AFCON play a major impact on the promo?

The early exit of the Super Eagles was never anything we wanted to see as fans and supporters, however, what we can say is that throughout the championship we have seen continuous passion and excitement around the games. One cannot know if it would get better if the Super Eagles played longer, or even win but we will never know. We can just wish, and we hope the next one will turn out to be the one to bring trophies.

Do you think signing Jay-Jay Okocha played a vital role in BetKing’s acceptance in Nigeria’s gaming industry?

The appointment of Jay-Jay Okocha, the Nigerian soccer legend was a vital milestone for BetKing. Simply because his and BetKing’s philosophy aligns closely – by believing that everyone, whatever their position, has a chance to become King of their destiny. Jay-Jay is a trusted and known Nigerian icon and his association with our brand from inception gave

Nigerians who trust in our brand that is much needed in an industry like ours.

What plans do you have for your customers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar?

We are always looking for new ways to engage with our customers and we cannot yet reveal the details but surely you can expect us to bring more fun, entertainment and more opportunities to win and get the feeling of excitement that comes with it. We certainly hope that Nigeria wins their next match against Ghana to qualify for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar and we wish the Super Eagles success in the game.

Tell us more about BetKing and its presence in Nigeria.

BetKing is a sports betting focused business of KingMakers, an African-focused sports and digital entertainment company with a presence in Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana. BetKing started in Nigeria in February 2018 and has grown to become one of the biggest players in the

industry in the country, and just last week we celebrated our fourth anniversary. We have become a recognisable brand that customers trust their bookmaker both online and in retail.

Read also: BetKing marks 4th anniversary, reiterates commitment to CSR

Does BetKing operate nationwide? If not, what strategies is the brand putting in place to expand to other cities?

As a licensed gaming company that also operates online, our services are accessible to customers around the country. We are continuously working to grow the footprint of our retail business to reach as many cities and communities as possible. We have a strong brand that people have come to trust, so we are looking for enterprising Nigerians that can partner with us to roll out their shops as agents under our brand. That is one way we can be present in every city and town in Nigeria.

What makes BetKing unique and different from other sports and digital entertainment companies?

At BetKing we are committed to changing the face of sports betting in Nigeria, and Africa overall and in doing so, we are dedicated to initiatives that improve communities where we operate and do business. We are looking to enrich the lives of everyday Nigerians including those who do not interact with our brand. In operating our business, we will continuously customize and add new products with innovative features whilst putting our agents and online customers first.

As BetKing celebrates its 4th Anniversary, tell us some of your CSR initiatives for the community

As part of our 4th-anniversary celebration, we launched a campaign under the theme of “4 Years on the Throne”, which entailed several activities designed to reward its community of Kings and Kingmakers (customers & agents).

In our four years of operations in Nigeria, we have been at the forefront of gaming in the market, creating over 50,000 jobs through our agency network. During this time, we have made some significant contributions to the socio-economic transformation of Nigeria and have impacted positively on people and communities. Some of the key initiatives we recorded include:

Sponsorship of the KidsPort Initiative – an after-school football program that recognizes young people in orphanages and communities with football talent who are given the platform and training to develop the talent and transform their lives. As part of the build-up to the anniversary ceremony, a novelty match was recently hosted between BetKing staff & the senior team of the KidsPort initiative.

Also, we empowered 200 market women in rebuilding their shops: in collaboration with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). In addition, we supported the Asisat Oshoala Foundation to develop young women in sports & education and supported job creation and entrepreneurship promotion in the creative sector through support of the Aba Fashion Week.

As part of the initiatives to mark our Anniversary, we planted 4 trees at our new headquarters site in Lagos. For me, these 4 trees signify 4 years of stellar operations in Nigeria, and we hope that as we nurture the trees and they grow, our brand grows with the environment feeling the effect.