This is a guest contribution by Eva Thompson is VegasMaster magazine’scorrespondent. If you would like to submit a contribution please contact Bill Beatty for submission details. Thank you.
Charity Marketing in the World of Gambling
With the advent of social media, a new form of marketing emerged to play an important role in the lives of millions across the globe – charity marketing or community marketing. Though this type of marketing is usually employed by not-for-profit organizations and NGOs, other corporate brands have also slowly ventured into this space to increase their brand awareness in a wholesome, positive way.
A British based insurance provider, Simplyhealth ran a charity marketing campaign that helped raise £150,000. This money was donated to Heart Research UK to fund research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart ailments. Simplyhealth launched a very simple campaign wherein it would donate £1 from its own chequebook for every new like on its Facebook page. This way, not only did the company earn a charitable and noble reputation, but also increased its brand awareness as a responsible organization.
The Humane Society too made use of charity marketing to help raise about $680,000 in about 3 years. They ran a pet photo contest on Facebook in which pet owners could upload a cute photo of their pet alongside a mandatory $5 donation. The winner of the contest would be given various prizes, while the bulk of the donations were used for animal welfare.
Casinos and Charity Marketing
Even casinos have understood that charity marketing is less of a gamble and more a smart business move. That’s why many casinos have run successful charity campaigns that helped raise millions of dollars for various causes, while also bettering the perception of casino brands amongst common people. Some of the most popular campaigns have been discussed below.
Stoke-on-Trent was falling behind the rest of the UK year after year in the mathematical department. Children were scoring very low marks consistently, and because of this employment rates remained low. This is when the city council of Stoke-on-Trent and Bet365 joined hands to tackle the issue. Both contributed £500,000 each to pay off the tuition fees of several mathematics postgraduate students to encourage them to become math teachers in Stoke-on-Trent. This money was also used to help relocate these new teachers into their new homes.
William Hill has been indulging in charity marketing for a quite a long time. In 2014, they donated £1 million to The Responsible Gambling Trust to prove their commitment towards responsible gambling. Apart from this, they were also very vocal about their support for Project Africa, which revolved around helping the downtrodden Ol Maisor community in Northern Kenya. Many employees of William Hill were sent into the country to help build libraries and homes.
When Ebola broke out in Sierra Leone and Liberia in 2014, the VIP members of 888 Casino raised $25,000 in just two days to help out. These donations were forwarded to the International Medical Corps, UK to help aid the work of on-ground volunteers.
888 Ladies, the women-only online casino division of 888 Casino, has active ties with Cancer Research UK to help raise money for research into several cancers that affect women, including Breast cancer. It raises money by organizing several women-only running events.
Movember is an international not-for-profit organization that works towards better health for men. BETAT realized that the majority of their clients are men, and Movember was already enjoying a rapidly growing reputation amongst men across the globe. Hence, BETAT tied up with Movember and pledged them 1% of its annual revenue.
The Calvin Ayre Foundation was established in 2005 by Canadian-born Calvin Ayre, the founder of the Bodog entertainment brand. For over a decade the independent charitable giving organization – which is based in Antigua – has worked with local communities, organizations and experts in more than 8 countries across the globe to make a positive difference and real change for thousands of people and animals. The Calvin Ayre Foundation is committed to providing help for child welfare, education, animal welfare, emergency response and social development. Back in 2010, the Foundation matched funds raised by the online gambling industry for relief efforts to help with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that shook Haiti.
Do Casinos Really Need to Invest in Charity Marketing?
Very simply – yes. While casinos may not be widely perceived by in a negative manner by the public, they are certainly not perceived in a positive way either. And charity marketing is a great way to build a positive brand image across genders, geography and other cultural and social distinctions.
It also helps casinos attract new players who support the same cause as the casino. And if the casino is consistent in its charity efforts towards that cause, these members are highly likely to stay loyal to the same casino.
And with more and more online casino coming up, it has become important for the current ones to stay relevant and popular. To do this, they spend millions on online advertising. Including charity marketing in their plans is a smart move becomes it has been seen multiple times that social media users are more likely to follow brands online that connect with them emotionally – and what better way to establish that connection than charity marketing?
At the end of the day, charity marketing like any other form of marketing needs to be done right. The right causes need to be picked and optimum financial commitments need to be made, without which even grand campaigns can fail and cause casinos to suffer losses.
Eva Thompson is a former online gaming employee she mainly deals with brands marketing strategies. Checkout her recent in depth look about Women and Gambling.