Becky’s Affiliated: ODonnell’s role in expanding the Better Collective events portfolio

TAGs: beckys affiliated, Better Collective, Editorial, Shona ODonnell

Better Collective is an iGaming affiliate marketing leader, an organization that comes from humble beginnings and over the past 15 years has grown into the powerhouse it is today. Earlier this year, Better Collective announced the appointment of iGaming industry conference organizer extraordinaire Shona ODonnell, a familiar face for many, previously running events for iGaming Business/Clarion.

“I’m very excited. It’s a great move for me. [Better Collective] had the right ethos and culture where I felt like I’d really be able to make a difference”, shared ODonnell.

At Better Collective ODonnell is running “strategic events” and represents the first person in the company’s London office. She and the team will be looking at how they can create events that will further develop Better Collective’s brands in each of the key markets where they have a strong presence.

First up is the inaugural The Greek Bookmaker Awards by Betarades, set to kick off in Athens on January 23, 2020.

“We chose Greece because we have a really strong presence with the Betarades brand there, the guys who run that are really well known with players in the market, they do lots and lots of social media, they have a really popular YouTube channel”, explained ODonnell.

“They’re quite big personalities and we felt that somewhere where we had a really deep level of trust with the player community, or the bettor community, would be a really good place to start”, she said.

Better Collective’s goal is to create an awards event that will recognize local operators as trustworthy, providing the winners with a Betarades “stamp of approval” for players’ peace of mind.

“If you’re placing a bet in Greece, you will look for the Betarades awards mark when making your decision, it will become part of your purchasing decision-making, because people already have a really strong relationship with the brand”, ODonnell revealed.

Everyone within the iGaming industry knows there are almost too many awards ceremonies to choose from these days, yet ODonnell is confident Better Collective will fill a void with the launch of their Greek Bookmaker Awards, in addition to giving the industry some much needed good press.

“The big difference is that most of the awards that we have in the industry are very internal, they’re about us, they are not about something that consumers would ever particularly think about or look for. What we are doing is awards that really put the players at heart of what we do”, she said.

“We’re collecting huge amounts of data and we’re using data because we think data is unequivocal, its really hard to argue with, its not someone’s opinion and its much easier to look at it in an objective way”, said ODonnell.

Another unique feature of the awards is Better Collective’s commitment to inviting partners to the event, as opposed to selling tickets or tables.

“We’ll be hosting them as our guests and we are at the SNFCC which is a beautiful building, we are in the Lighthouse right at the top, so we have beautiful views all the way across the Acropolis and all the way out to the ocean, so really beautiful”, explained ODonnell.

Throughout the course of 2020 and beyond, ODonnell and team will be looking at rolling out these awards into some of Better Collective’s additional key markets such as Serbia, Denmark, Sweden, the UK.

“We want to really focus on our key brands where we have relationships with both players and operators and look to strengthen them and their individual markets where they can have a real impact”, she said.

In addition to expanding their events portfolio, ODonnell revealed Better Collective’s plans to increase their presence in London in terms of personnel and potential further acquisitions.

“I was the first person to set up in the BC London office which is great, we’ve got a fantastic location here, we’re right at St. Catherine’s Dock looking out onto Tower Bridge and Tower of London”, ODonnell said.

“We’re obviously always looking at new acquisitions and new partnerships. There’s real potential that if we have some new partnerships happening in the New Year – of which I can’t say very much – we will actually outgrow this space and have to move into a bigger space. After LAC and the Awards would be good timing for us”, she said with a smile.


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