We track down some of the most established names in the affiliate space for our Affiliate Profile.
This week, Pixel.bet COO Fabien Humbert reflects on his ascent through the industry, discusses why he’s shifting his focus towards the world of esports, and talks up his brand new affiliate system.
Affiverse: Can you begin by introducing your history in the igaming and affiliate space, and describing how you landed your current role with Pixel.bet. What made you shift your attention towards esports?
Fabien Humbert: After seven years in London working on both the demand and supply side of digital media, I had built a strong expertise in mobile applications, start-ups and ecommerce.
At this time I was looking for a new vertical to get excited about after building my expertise in content, entertainment, telecommunications and media. I was approached by Betsson and joined them as their product manager for mobile, managing more than ten different mobile applications on a group level.
The next two years provided me with a free master in igaming from courtesy of the senior teams at Betsson Group. Working between acquisition, content, CRM and retention marketing, my role was to grow and retain our base of customers across more than 20 markets.
After two years working with Betsson and Lifland Gaming in similar areas I decided to start looking for a new opportunity, more inline with my personal hobbies and the development of the igaming market. Working first as an external marketing consultant I built the entire tracking and analytics system before joining Pixelbet full time a few month later, as the Head of Marketing.
The joyful ride of a young startup offer me an opportunity to step up and take the role of acting CEO before Eirik Kristiansen joined us as our full time CEO, post investment by Leo Vegas group.
This investment sealed our future and confirmed the interest of the more mature igaming market toward the emerging esports betting market. Since then we have fully launched out of Beta and managed to build a brand new casino product in record time.
AI: Is esports worthwhile or a waste of time for affiliates?
FH: Esports audience are difficult to buy into and the affiliates need to take a dedicated and curated approach to growing esports. The number are showing huge potential and there are fantastic opportunities for the established affiliate to help the upcoming streamers, Youtubers and Twitchers who already have an audience.
The opportunity for curated marketplace where esports fans can engage with publisher content is real and can act as a perfect qualifying to convert esports audience into punters.
AI: What advice would you give to budding igaming/esports firms looking to build a successful affiliate program?
FH: Engage with the community, be real, do not pretend. The esports audience and generally the millennial audiences have developed an uncanny sixth sense and can identify an ad or curated content from miles away.
The differences between games is also paramount as very affiliates would have the required content production capabilities to follow each sub esports scene. Treating CSGO fans like League Of Legends fans would be as misguided marketing to both tennis and football fans at the same time.
AI: How does an esports audience differ from that of igaming?
FH: Their level of digital literacy is impressive, they are strong content builders and have a low tolerance for untruthful content. They nibble around, visiting a high number of sites and ingesting a high volume of freshly made content every day via their curated network.
The traditional pay-to-promote influencer marketing model needs to be replaced by a marketplace where esports fans can meet, engage and GET GOOD! (as a lot of esports fan follow the scene to improve their own play as well as keep up to date with the game they love).
AI: And finally, what are your hopes and aspirations for Pixel.bet, both short-term and long-term?
FH: Pixelbet want to be the number one esports betting destination first in the Nordics and in the next five years, throughout Europe. We believe in a fully regulated esports betting industry moving away from skin betting and towards secure and established payment solutions such as Trustly.
Pixelbet aim to evolve the traditional bonus system toward a simple yet rewarding flat cashback based on losses. A transparent cashback system will help build trust and simplify both the retention and support side of our business.
We are also evolving towards a content powerhouse and aim to create a lot of curated content for esports fans, as well as rewarding them for creating their own content or sharing our content with their network.