Dean Akinjobi: Digital sports and music sponsorships provide ‘comprehensive offering’ for betting brands

In line with continuing speculations of a gambling sponsorship ban in sports, a shift beginning to emerge in the market is an increase in digital sports sponsorships across fan sites and influencer channels. 

Speaking to SBC, Dean Akinjobi, CEO of Football Media, talked of his agency’s partnership with crypto-betting which recently brought about a deal with Kenyan rapper King Kaka, suggesting that such agreements will provide a ‘comprehensive offering’ for betting brands to explore.

SBC – Firstly, are you able to tell us how this partnership came about? 

Dean Akinjobi – has been a client of Football Media’s for a number of years across digital advertising.

Africa is one of the fastest growing markets for cryptocurrency adoption, the continent received around $105.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency between July 2020 and June 2021, alone, with countries like Kenya and Nigeria ranking in the top 10 of global crypto adoption.

With being the world’s leading crypto sportsbook and Football Media’s experience of the African market, we were consulted on an African market entry strategy.

We worked with the Yolo Group team and concluded on a strategy around combining two of the African continents fastest growing sectors, crypto and betting, with one of the continents fastest and most influential forms of entertainment, Afrobeats, through which the King Kaka partnership was then formed.

SBC – Should the UK introduce a ban on sports betting sponsorships, could we see an increase in music and entertainment based partnerships in its place?

DA There is a strong possibility that we could see more music and entertainment based partnerships, if the UK were to introduce a ban on sports sponsorships, that said, the most logical shift will be an increase in digital sports sponsorships across fan sites and influencer channels. 

This, combined with a music or entertainment ambassador as the face of a brands business and supported by collaborative digital channel activations, will provide a comprehensive offering that betting brands could explore and leverage from, if the UK were to introduce a ban on sports sponsorship.

SBC – King Kaka is obviously a very prominent artist in East Africa. How significant can he be in boosting betting and crypto engagement in the region? 

King Kaka (left) with Dean Akinjobi of Football Media

DA Yes, King Kaka is a very prominent artist in East Africa and will be very significant in boosting betting and crypto engagement, he has a unique engaging personality that resonates with many people across the African continent, this combined with the current growth of crypto and betting in Africa, will provide a great platform and opportunity for King Kaka to excel at helping to boost betting and crypto engagement with across East Africa.

SBC – How significant can partnerships with music and entertainment figures be in promoting crypto to a new generation of bettors?

DA – Partnerships with music and entertainment figures can be key when promoting crypto to a new generation of bettors, you just have to think about the word ‘entertainment’ itself as it encompasses so many different areas, including music, sports, games, betting etc. 

When the right type of partnership is formed with someone from the music and entertainment industry, it can enable a brand to benefit from engaging and communicating with new audiences in ways that they would never have been able to do before, therefore, opening up unique opportunities, through which to promote sectors such as crypto, to a new generation of bettors. 

SBC – What marketing activations can we expect from the partnership between Sportsbet and King Kaka?

DA – We can expect some very interesting marketing activations, combining crypto, betting and entertainment from the partnership. We have already had the brand featured in one of King Kaka’s recent music videos – ‘Shida Za Kidosi’ will also be supporting some of King Kaka’s philanthropic ventures in Kenya, to help to positively impact local communities.

SBC – How much can the collaboration benefit from the ongoing African Cup of Nations?

DA – The collaboration will significantly benefit from the ongoing African Cup of Nations, it’s the biggest tournament across the continent, featuring some of the world’s best football players, so the timing of the launch of the collaboration has perfectly coincided with the tournament.

We are currently running targeted digital media advertising activity to leverage interest around the tournament, as well as bespoke King Kaka betting activation predictions during the tournament, this combined digital media advertising and ambassador engagement approach will yield benefits for throughout the tournament and beyond. 

SBC – Lastly, King Kaka, is he a big AC Milan fan? 

DA – He is actually a huge Man Utd fan.


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