Kevin Brocard says Sporntco’s growth has been achieved thanks to a focus on best practice, flexibility and offering partners a truly differentiated product. Inside Sportnco spoke with the group’s COO to find out more.
The operations team Kevin Brocard helped build since joining Sportnco in 2015 has happened organically, he says, as the group has continued to grow in the past five years. The experience he acquired while working with Paddy Power at the company’s Dublin headquarters has stood him in good stead and provided great foundations on which to build.
“Paddy Power was a great schooling for learning about trading, products and marketing. I took in so much information when it comes to having a culture of being precise, with a strong work ethic and being demanding in relation to the product offering we were promoting to players,” he says.
In his work as Sportnco chief operating officer these features manifest themselves by “being applied across the board. From IT to product development and developing a strong corporate identity. You invest yourself completely in your work and strive for excellence.
Kevin Brocard, Chief Operating Officer of Sportnco
“This comes across when you are developing new ideas with colleagues and looking to push the organisation forward. One of the ways we have done this at Sportnco has been to bring in external experience and expand our internal capabilities”, he says.
With responsibilities focused on trading, IT projects, product development, B2B account management and client support, Brocard sees his role as continuously building up the internal Sportnco structure.
Managing growth and projects
“By amassing knowledge and experience we are developing our expertise. In France, where we have been active for 10 years, we have developed the largest B2B betting network in the country. In Spain, starting with our partnership with Suertia in 2017, we have partnered with strong brands across betting and gaming, such as SISAL, Golden Park, Casino Gran Madrid and Casino Barcelona.
“This roster of clients has enabled us to become the leading B2B betting network in Spain. Our knowledge and understanding of the country are strong and we are confident of what we bring to the table”
This growth means the group is consolidating and developing economies of scale, “but without losing what has made our success: the ability to respond to clients and develop adapted products”, Brocard adds.
“This roster of clients has enabled us to become the leading B2B betting network in Spain. Our knowledge and understanding of the country are strong and we are confident of what we bring to the table; in what is a highly competitive market.”
Adding new functionalities and products is important, but it must also be considered as part of a whole. “It can come from a desire to innovate or go with the evolution of the market. We have seen this with products like partial or full cashout, accumulators, build-your-bet or live betting. However, they must also be implemented in a way that makes senses for the network and all partners,” Brocard says.
This work is incorporated with the ongoing task of evaluating the market and seeing the type of content both operators and suppliers are producing.
For betting brands, it can centre on marketing, offers and editorial content to acquire players and grow CRM. For suppliers like Sportnco it will focus on providing a competitive portfolio of betting opportunities, trading and risk management while constantly working to broaden it and ensuring it delivers the right margins.
“Once the roadmap has been agreed the analysis, development and testing take place before production and rollout are implemented,” Brocard explains.
“Throughout, our B2B account management teams will work closely with our tech teams to ensure our operators are kept updated on all these activities. But to illustrate how all our teams interact across the group, we are currently integrating new data and feeds suppliers.
“Our trading capacity is a great lever for marketing and differentiation, while adding a layer of personalisation”
“This means our trading teams are brought into the project to work closely with our B2B and tech teams and ensure operators have full functionality, whether they have a turnkey solution or manage their front-ends. Having our own trading team that works and truly trades every day gives us great flexibility and enables our brands to be as flexible and aggressive as they want in terms of marketing.
“In competitive markets it’s a great lever for marketing and differentiation, while adding a layer of personalisation for sites that want to target unique sports such as ‘padel’ in Spain, political betting and, of course, eSports.”
Regulated focus, positive outlook
The saying is as common as it is well-known: regulated markets are key for the igaming sector and Sportnco has always worked on fully regulated markets.
Our work ethic has always been anchored in 100% regulated markets, no ifs or buts. It is also reassuring for all parties: players, suppliers – such as ourselves and those that work with us; operators and regulators.”
Why is that when it could have gone into grey markets and generated revenues tax- and regulation-free? “I think it comes down to our Sportnco DNA. Our work ethic has always been anchored in 100% regulated markets, no ifs or buts. We have succeeded in being profitable and generating margins while respecting regulations and responsible gambling commitments. This is a noteworthy achievement. It is also reassuring for all parties: players, suppliers – such as ourselves and those that work with us; operators and regulators.”
The Coronavirus pandemic is of course a huge game changer for everyone involved the igaming sector, but Kevin Brocard points out that it doesn’t change anything when it comes to how Sportnco and its operators behave in relation to responsible gambling.
“Whatever happens, Sportnco is continuing its ongoing projects to launch brands in the US, South America and Portugal in the coming months. Without doubt 2020 will be one of the most incredible years any of us have experienced. But we should remember that there will be some rebound in the second half of the year, while 2021 will be full of amazing sporting events like the Olympics and the European football championships.
“Activity has slowed down, but as my colleague David Bonnefous says, the value of having a good igaming proposition has been amply demonstrated during this crisis and many of our clients have mitigated the impact of COVID-19 thanks to their online portals. We are keen to get back up to full speed and looking forward to putting all our resources to best use for our clients.”