Joe McCallum, Sportsbet.io: Taking a partnership-first approach to sponsorships
When it comes to forging new sponsorship agreements with football clubs, the most important aspect to consider is creating a strong partnership with the team while also embracing the fans. That was according to Joe McCallum, Director of Sportsbook at Sportsbet.io.
In an interview at Betting on Sports Europe, McCallum began discussions by reflecting on Sportsbet.io’s first five years in business, highlighting just how much the company – and brand itself – has grown.
He said: “It’s pleasing to see how the team has grown from five people to more than 30 in the space of five years. People have grown with the business and the brand. The brand has always been built around trust – we always say it’s a key driver for customers to come to your website.”
Talk soon turned towards the operator’s long-running agreement with Southampton FC and the need to share a similar “circle of values” with any team you work with.
He expressed that when initially signing the sponsorship deal with the Premier League team, Sportsbet.io had to consider the ways in which it worked with different brands. For McCallum, this ultimately meant ensuring that the brand placed content and fan engagement at the forefront of any partnership.
“We were very fortunate when we were looking for sponsorships when we came across Southampton,” he continued. “The team was very inventive in its approach to partnerships. They created this circle of values. They then asked us to create our own circle of values. That then made us think about how we work closely with brands. There really were some fantastic things we did with Southampton.
“We weren’t so precious about colours or the brand, we embraced that without losing the authenticity of the team’s strip. Yes we were pleased to get our branding out there, but we were also happy that we could respect the heritage of the football team.
“We actually made sure that we weren’t price-led, we wanted to be more focused on the engaging content. Recently, we launched Southampton crypto fan tokens, we’ve donated bitcoins – the fans then make a decision on whether they hold that and on how they spend that money.
“It’s all about the partnership and trying to embrace fans. The fans are the foundation of every football club and we should always try to respect that.”
Watch the full interview HERE