Albert Climent, Head of Africa at Yolo Group, spoke to SBCNews about innovative approaches and a crypto-first strategy bolstering the entertainment revolution in the region.
Over the last few months, Sportsbet.io and Bitcasino have welcomed to the team a series of high profile global brand ambassadors from Africa, as we look to expand our footprint not only as the crypto gaming brand of choice, but also as a lifestyle and entertainment powerhouse that rewards users globally with “money can’t buy” experiences.
For several years now, betting and gaming operators have talked about the potential of African markets. Only a handful have even partly delivered upon its promise, and invariably they have been the ones who have taken a traditional approach towards gaming, with fiat-based strategies heavily dependent on the mass market.
Our strategy is one with a laser-focused objective to entertain the growing global crypto community. Around 65 percent of adults in sub-Saharan Africa are unbanked. At the same time, the continent is a hotbed of innovation when it comes to mobile payments. Aside from the success of M-Pesa, nearly half of global mobile money users are in Africa, and these users account for two-thirds of all mobile money transactions.
Against this backdrop, it is little surprise that the crypto opportunity is so exciting. By some measures, Africa’s crypto market has grown by more than 1,200 percent over the last two years, and is now worth in excess of $100 billion per year.
Africa is leading a silent and peaceful financial revolution via adoption of cryptocurrencies. We believe in this technology, and even though we are a gaming operation, we are making a sizeable effort via education projects to empower as many individuals as possible to join the crypto economy.
A growing number of people are not only using crypto for important transactions like remittances, but are also more open than ever to incorporating it into their spend on everyday products and services, including entertainment.
At Yolo Group, we’ve identified the importance of a ‘glocal’ approach to key markets. We can already provide a best-in-class global crypto betting experience. The challenge then becomes how we localise this experience for players in a way that improves upon this global product.
Branding and marketing is obviously a major area here. We’ve been fortunate to sign a series of high-profile Africa-based brand ambassadors over the last few months, who share our vision and mission.
These include Kenyan rapper King Kaka, Nigerian afropop star Tekno Miles, and most recently South African hip-hop legend Cassper Nyovest. While these are global brand ambassadors, as huge names across the continent, we are finding that the partnerships resonate particularly well with the global African audience. Music, as with sport, is a great connector with the power to cross borders.
We’re also working hard to engage our users directly via one-of-a-kind VIP events. In May, we hosted an ‘Ahead of The Game’ event in Lagos, Nigeria, in cooperation with our global partner Arsenal FC, which brought together more than 400 people to watch Arsenal take on Manchester United. The watch-along included a guest appearance from Nigeria and Arsenal legend Nwankwo Kanu, as well as games, drinks and Bitcoin giveaways. The event even raised a quarter of a bitcoin for the Kanu Heart Foundation.
Better serving the crypto gamer
Ultimately, this is about better serving the specific requirements of African players across the globe by understanding their conditions and delivering products that match the needs of users.
This includes everything from running promotions that resonate with players to providing the betting events and markets people want to wager on. Our work with King Kaka, Tekno Miles and Cassper Nyovest is at the very heart of this.
They are proving to be ideal ambassadors because they both share our values and help us reach the global African audience.
We see the global African audience as key for Sportsbet.io and Bitcasino in the future. Building our brand via partnerships such as these is our way of showing that players from the continent will always enjoy a glocal and bespoke gaming experience with us.