The strength of marketing prowess, supported by excellent product delivery and customer support has propelled a number of our brands and products into market-leading positions.
Sustaining and also consolidating those positions requires continuous marketing support and investment. As well as continuing to innovate our product suite, we must also embrace the full range of traditional marketing tools as well as the latest methods and channels including social media, recommendation engines and mobile.
Our revenue model dictates that acquiring, retaining and reactivating customers are all central to our marketing efforts. We seek to employ a balanced approach so that we don’t become unduly exposed to any particular channel or provider. Online customer acquisition strategies include web-based advertising, affiliate programmes, referrals and search engines as well as the extensive use of a broad range of player incentives. Our offline marketing methods include advertising through mass media channels (TV, print and outdoor), direct mail, sponsorships and referrals.
Signature sponsorships have always been a key aspect of our sports marketing programme and reflect our close connection with the world of sport. We focus on European football and in 2012 we enhanced our activity through the launch of a digital partnership with Manchester United, complementing our relationship with Real Madrid; our premium partnership with FC Bayern Munich; and the title sponsor of Italy’s secondtier football league, Serie B. Away from football, bwin sponsors MotoGP, the International Basketball Federation (‘FIBA’) European and World Championships, Euroleague Basketball and Pro Padel.
Each of our sponsorships is subject to a continuous process of evaluation including the impact on customer acquisition, brand awareness and the media value obtained. As seen through our partnership with Manchester United, in 2012 we began to evolve our sponsorship strategy to focus on social media and social gaming, online and mobile integration, reflecting the shift in consumer usage of these channels.
Additionally, we own and have developed a number of specialist land-based events and created television programming around them such as the World Poker Tour and Premier League Poker. We have more than 600 hours of branded poker programming we can use to support brand awareness and attract customers from countries around the world.
We will continue to employ a variety of sponsorship and event opportunities to continue to promote our brands and products on both an international and localised basis. Finally, player loyalty schemes are an important part of our market efforts. They have proved to be very successful with regards to retaining sports betting, poker and casino customers. In addition to our loyalty programmes, a broad range of incentives, including bonuses, are also used to attract, retain and reactive customers.