Hockey is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports across Russia – and so partnering with the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) was an obvious choice for Fonbet as it sought to maximise its appeal to hockey fans across the CIS region as a whole.
Alina Yakirevich, Marketing Director at Fonbet, delves into the ways in which the operator is making hockey “more universally entertaining” for hardcore hockey fans and those which may be new to the sport.
SBC: Why does Fonbet have such a dedicated focus on hockey fans?
We’ve been partnered with the KHL for five years now, and we believe that this collaboration helps us achieve our goal of promoting hockey and making it even more popular in Russia and the CIS.
Working with the KHL helps us increase exposure among a specific target audience and also work together to improve our product, making it more universally entertaining for both the traditional segment of fans and a younger audience.
Something particularly special about our collaboration, and something which we’re proud of, is All Stars Week, one of the largest sporting events in Russian sports. All Stars Week brings together a huge number of hockey fans.
We realise that this event is also interesting for people who don’t follow hockey closely during the season. We understand perfectly how important and popular All Stars Week is, so we’ve been working for a long time to make this large-scale project as entertaining and memorable as possible for fans and athletes alike.
SBC: How did you first come up with the idea of sponsoring All Stars Week?
Sports have long ceased to be limited to just competitions, numbers, goals and results. One of the main features of commercially successful professional sports is the entertainment and performance element. All Stars Week fits this description like no other event.
First and foremost, hockey in Russia should be more appealing to a young audience which, according to recent studies, tends to be more interested in football and esports.
Naming the event helps Fonbet maximise its presence in the media and highlights our cooperation with the league. Hosting All Stars Week is also an effective tool in building communication with the league’s local audience at the city level, which will increase brand confidence and improve our image.
SBC: What are you trying to achieve with this sponsorship?
For us, it isn’t just about integrating the Hockey All Stars Week logo and the name. For Fonbet, it’s important that every participant in this stellar and exciting weekend, whether on the podium or at home in front of the TV, has as much fun as they can.
SBC: And in your opinion, what have been the stand-out moments from your sponsorship agreement so far?
More than 7,000 people took part in our activities. Fonbet gave away 6,000 promo codes to them for free bets and 60 sweaters and branded Hockey All Stars Week pucks.
Fonbet’s social responsibility is also of equal importance. As part of the Assist charity programme, Fonbet donates RUB 500 for each goal scored in KHL matches to the Children’s Sledge Hockey League (CSHL) fund. During Hockey All Stars Week, we increased our donations by 10x up to RUB 5,000. In total, 68 goals were scored during the three matches of this stellar weekend, so Fonbet will donate RUB 340,000 to the CSHL fund. This money will be used to purchase equipment, pay for coaches and doctors, and to rent venues. The Kharlamov division received a donation of RUB 100,000 from Fonbet.
Coverage in the media as a result of naming exceeded 91 million, and the total coverage of videos by popular bloggers was over 70 million on YouTube and Instagram.