“Esports cannot be ignored”

Nikita Lazarev, global sponsorship manager at Parimatch.
Nikita Lazarev, global sponsorship manager at Parimatch.

Exclusive interview.- Focus Gaming News catches up with Nikita Lazarev, global sponsorship manager at Parimatch.

Parimatch has had a big year for sponsorship agreements.

It celebrated its new sub-licence with BetVictor in the UK by partnering with English Premier league sides Leicester and Everton and it also struck high-profile deals with Juventus and Spain’s La Liga.

Focus Gaming News caught up with the company’s global sponsorship manager, Nikita Lazarev, to get some insights.

“We’re looking into new emerging markets to expand globally and support the strategy with big sponsorship agreements,” Lazarev said.

 “Big sponsorship agreements are very important to us.”

Nikita Lazarev, global sponsorship manager at Parimatch.

While countries such as Spain pass legislation to rein in sponsorship and gambling advertising in sport, Lazarev suggests this might actually be an opportunity for operators such as Parimatch.

 “The technology is developing and evolving from year to year. We’ve got things like DBR, virtual advertising. Personally, I see this as an opportunity for us.

“We’ve recently partnered with La Liga as official betting partner for the CIS region and the new restrictions haven’t really stopped us.”

He recognised that the regulatory changes may have a big impact on big brands such as Bet365 and Betway but could present an opportunity for others.

“For them it’s a big impact but for other brands I think it’s an opportunity, and for clubs as well because they can attract different betting brands depending on the territory in which they operate,” he said.

“I think sponsorship is an inevitable part of the marketing mix.”

Nikita Lazarev, global sponsorship manager at Parimatch.

Lazarev has no doubts as to the power sponsorship still has.

“Personally I think that sponsorship is a powerful way to engage with the consumers.

“Entering into different sponsorship agreements can get access to the space outside the reach of regular markets and channels to create a unique catchpoint and opportunity to build brand awareness.”

As for Parimatch’s native Ukraine, where it plans to launch operations following this year’s legalisation of gambling, the brand is already extremely well-placed.

Lazarev said: “The attitude to the brand has changed over the last two years, partly due to the contracts that we have in place with Shakhtar Donetsk and with some big global ambassadors like Conor McGregor.”

Lazarev also commented on the importance of esports, and noted that the niche could not be ignored.

Check out the full interview with Nikita Lazarev on the Focus Gaming News YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe!

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