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India has seen impressive growth in iGaming since the pandemic, according to Dmitry Belianin, CMO of Parimatch International

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The COVID-19 pandemic no doubt proved disastrous for the global sports business industry. This was arguably even more so in the case of the comparatively fledgling Indian sports industry. With major sporting events forcibly postponed or canceled, and strict lockdowns in effect at the peak of the pandemic, most sectors of the industry understandably took a hit.

However, as most observers might have noticed during that time, the pandemic also led to a surge in growth of the gaming industry, whether it be casual gaming, esports, or iGaming. The iGaming sector in particular, has undergone tremendous growth in this period.

In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Dmitry Belianin, Chief Marketing Officer of Parimatch International (PMI), confirmed as much, saying:

“The sports betting market and iGaming, both online and offline, are huge in India and have an impressive growth rate, especially since the pandemic started in 2019.”

An experienced marketing strategist and leader in the sports betting industry with over 13 years of experience in both marketing and gaming, Dmitry has a background in consumer behavior. He has been affiliated with companies such as DAOBet, a B2B platform based on a decentralized blockchain protocol for iGaming, PokerArt, and Hilead.

Remarking that Parimatch is one of the most popular sports betting sites among the Indian audience, he also touched on what the brand stands for, adding:

“The company is culturally diverse as it operates in many regions, but our willingness to win helps us overcome any differences. The Parimatch brand is highly innovative. It combines high technology with an extremely dedicated team of professionals. It provides a wide range of tech, marketing, and communications services in iGaming and betting. Due to our brand promotions, the number of people who adore iGaming and sports betting grows constantly. To enhance its brand development, we (also) sign partnership agreements in iGaming and deals with all key sports events.”

Given the high growth market that India has been for iGaming since the advent of the pandemic, there are a number of brands that have either made use of this period to enter this market or bolstered their efforts to build their brand in the country. Commenting on what separates the brand from its competitors, and its vision, Dmitry commented:

“We believe the difference between Parimatch and its competitors should be based on high-quality content, creating a community of enthusiasts and sports fans who like to stay in the same environment, exchange ideas, and feel free to communicate and discuss various materials with our authors as well. Today’s sports media should not exist only as a voice, but as a project where the communication is directed. We want to create a platform where users can get involved in their favorite kind of sport and look for fellow enthusiasts for communication.”

Any iGaming or tech product for that matter that requires users to interact and engage with it needs to be intuitive, and have all the support that they would need to have an overall positive experience on the platform. Diving into the platform’s competitive product features, Dmitry noted:

“Parimatch is a legal international betting site that offers competitive odds, and has a user-friendly intuitive interface. It offers both real-time and virtual sports betting. The platform gives its Indian fans the brightest and most attractive gaming experience of placing bets on their favorite sports (single or accumulator bets). Our customers get the option of placing a bet while watching live sports.”

He added:

“Watching multiple games at a time is possible as well. There will be no advertisements or promotions, so customers will be able to bet without being distracted. Parimatch is a legal, transparent, and safe international betting platform (with a Curacao eGaming licence).

Affiliate marketing is one of the most favoured marketing tools for Parimatch

Highlighting that PMI is a fast-growing tech company, Dmitry touched on some of the brand’s preferred marketing tools, remarking:

“Parimatch goes beyond its competitors in many aspects, especially in reaching our audience. Its efforts are aimed at expanding and disseminating its presence worldwide, building a strong brand, attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. The main focus of our brand is to build trust. We reach millions of our Indian fans through numerous marketing channels (social networks, influencers, websites and various sponsorship activities).”

No conversation around a marketing campaign is complete without understanding the metrics used to measure its success. Speaking about what the key performance indicators (KPIs) look like for the brand’s marketing campaigns, Dmitry added:

“Our marketing campaigns have different objectives and KPIs; reaching a certain number of people in social networks, encouraging betting on different sports, attracting new users interested in betting, increasing the amount of bets, creating a large community of sports users deeply involved and interested in iGaming and sports, increasing revenue from our user base, [and] increasing customers’ activity on the new sports and categories.”

Delving further into the brand’s marketing channels and strategies, Dmitry admitted that affiliate marketing is becoming increasingly popular in the iGaming industry as it gives promising results right away and brings additional value, in addition to being low-cost. Admitting that affiliate marketing is one of the most favored and profitable marketing tools for the brand, he said:

“Affiliate marketing can be regarded as having a quicker ROI in comparison to other business models. Parimatch ensures that with a top-level product and the ability to stand out from competitors, along with a highly-effective and strong marketing team, it’s easier to get affiliate value and attract more potential partners. We use affiliate marketing to introduce a product to new markets with new target audiences.”

Dmitry added:

“Local affiliates allow us to get the most suitable traffic in the most efficient way and collect feedback on the promo campaigns and the new product. All of the above mentioned gives us additional value for the product and its funnel. Parimatch offers the best betting quality, risk-free affiliate programs, a win-win partnership format.”

Parimatch aims to assist in developing India’s sports community

Speaking specifically about the Indian market, Dmitry stated that the organization has been working and supporting sports in India for two years, and it is an important market for the brand.

Providing a teaser into what sports fans can soon come to experience from the brand, he said:

“Parimatch is a reliable company with a 26-year history, and it’s dynamically developing with a growing number of loyal customers worldwide. We are currently working on creating a special section to attract a new target audience – those people who want to have their viewing experience augmented. These fans will be able to watch broadcast sports matches and then visit the Parimatch News website to get the necessary analytics and sports reviews and discuss all of them with other customers.”

While promoting their brands is often tricky for iGaming operators in India’s current legal landscape, brands have been known to use surrogate advertising in the past for their promotional activities. When asked about the brand’s approach to marketing itself in India and what some of its KPIs are for its India-centric marketing campaigns, Dmitry said:

“Actually, Parimatch doesn’t use surrogate brands to attract a new audience for the betting brand. Our main task is to assist in the development of the sports community in India. There is a wide range of metrics we use for our website. These are the reach, the number of unique visitors, the customer retention rate, etc. The Parimatch News website contributes to sports development in India and lets its fans be involved in sports much deeper, feeling a part of a huge sports community.”

Parimatch News is currently the Official Sponsor of Pro Kabaddi League

Having signed a three-year sponsorship deal in December 2021 to be the official sponsor of Pro Kabaddi league, Parimatch News has certainly made a splash in the Indian sports industry. Speaking about how the brand approaches sponsorships and gages its success, the Chief Marketing Officer remarked:

“Vivo Pro Kabaddi League has been working professionally and at the highest level in sports development, so it got great coverage before a three-year official sponsorship agreement with Parimatch was signed in 2021. It is realized for further sports engagement and enhanced brand support. We share the same ideology, vision, standards, and other attributes that are integrated into our own brand.”

He added:

“Our target audience has the same preferences when it comes to the desired content. The Parimatch News brand and the one of the Pro Kabaddi league are a good match since both brands have the same vision, enhance the development of the national sport in India, and stimulate an interest in the sport, along with increasing the number of young fans in the sphere of iGaming.”

Besides its current association with the Pro Kabaddi League, Parimatch News has also been involved in sponsorships with Indian Super League (ISL) clubs Kerala Blasters and Northeast United as associate sponsor and main sponsor respectively.

We are excited to be associating with @ParimatchN as our Main Sponsor for the upcoming season of the Hero ISL! 🙌🏻Join us in welcoming them into the Highlander’s Family! 🔴⚪⚫ https://t.co/807UAfM7eR

Brands across the globe from the iGaming industry have had to weather some blowback from their sports sponsorships, notably in developed sports markets such as those in the United Kingdom and Spain, and in leagues such as the Premier League and La Liga. When asked about how PMI aspires to make sure its sponsorships in India are seen in the best possible light, Dmitry commented:

“Sponsorships are absolutely valuable for Parimatch since they let us support sports in India and be associated with our brand. Parimatch works both with new promising teams and new kinds of sports and market leaders. Our main goal is to reach the niches where the potential fans of our brand are.”

Future roadmap for Parimatch and iGaming

Noting once again that India is an important growth market for the brand, Dmitry signed off by commenting on their roadmap ahead:

“Parimatch has great plans for the developing market of India since this country is one of the world’s key iGaming players. Parimatch will continue to invest in the development of iGaming and entertainment in India and thus contribute to its market growth.”

With the iGaming industry projected to grow from INR 76 billion in 2020 to INR 155 billion by 2023, and an average annual growth rate of the market at approximately 27% according to the Chief Marketing Officer of PMI, the high-growth road for Parimatch and the wider iGaming industry looks set to continue in the near future.

Edited by Sandeep Banerjee

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