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888 Holdings

888 Names Howard Mittman as President of US Operations

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888 Holdings has appointed media veteran Howard Mittman as president of 888 US. Mittman will be responsible for 888’s US operations, including its strategic partnership with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) a brand development, marketing, and entertainment company and owner of the Sports Illustrated brand.

Mittman is having more than 20 years’ experience in the digital and media industries. Most recently, he served as the CEO of Bleacher Report, a leading digital sports brand, having previously been Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer at the company. During his career, he also held leadership roles including Chief Business Officer of Conde Nast, and Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer of WIRED and GQ.

Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Howard as our new President 888 US. This key appointment comes at a hugely exciting point in our long-term growth strategy in the US online betting market as we look forward to launching SI Sportsbook in multiple states in the coming months and years.

“We have established a platform for strong growth in the US through our world-class technology and operational expertise, with the Sports Illustrated brand, and the appointment of Howard, which will enable us to maximise the potential of this unique combination to further grow a profitable business in the US.

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“Howard has an exceptional track record at some of the world’s best known media brands, brings a huge amount of knowledge of the US digital landscape, has exceptionally strong relationships across the world of sports and media, and was the outstanding candidate after a thorough search.”

Howard Mittman said: “I am thrilled to be joining one of the online betting industry’s most respected and successful businesses. 888 has an outstanding reputation for innovation, product leadership, and customer-centricity. I have been hugely impressed by the people I’ve met within the business, particularly their passion for product and the customer experience, and I share their excitement about the significant opportunities ahead.

“The partnership with ABG and Sports Illustrated gives us a unique opportunity to deliver world-class betting and gaming products as part of a fully integrated experience with a leading sports media brand.”

Daniel W. Dienst, Executive Vice Chairman at ABG, said: “We applaud 888’s decision to appoint Mr. Mittman as President 888 US of its growing US platform and the operators of SI Sportsbook. With the breadth of his media industry experience and 888’s technical capabilities, we are excited to further capitalize on the opportunity to build a differentiated wagering experience for the loyal and avid fans of sports – and in particular, Sports Illustrated – who since 1954 continue to trust and rely on its peerless journalism and visit the platform in record numbers monthly.”

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888 Holdings

SBC Summit North America: Charting New Paths in Affiliate and Marketing Success

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As affiliates grapple with the challenge of higher player acquisition costs and the subsequent need to build player loyalty, SBC Summit North America will serve as the ideal platform to acquire insights into content creation strategies, brand building and the power of big data, all of which can help affiliates solidify their standing in the market.

Scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, the ‘Affiliate & Marketing’ track promises engaging discussions encompassing mergers and acquisitions in the affiliate space, gamification, the rise in popularity of online influencers, artificial intelligence (AI) and customer relationship management (CRM) strategies to foster player loyalty, among other topics.

Kicking off the conference track is the panel titled ‘Affiliate Leaders Panel: Building Brands Through Content and Customization’, which will feature Andrew Garven (Head of Marketing, Covers), Rome Smith (Head of Marketing – North America, Betsson), Marcos Oliveira (Chief Operating Officer, Clever Advertising) alongside panel moderator Michael Daly (Former Chief Executive Officer, Catena Media). The panel will delve into how leading affiliates harness branding and compelling content to build unique and recognizable affiliate brands, optimize acquisition rates and strike successful operator partnerships.

The ‘Big Data at the Center: How Affiliates & Operators Can Make Sense of Their Customers Across Multiple Channels’ panel will delve into the strategic use of big data in understanding customer behavior. Experts Gil Bushkin???? (Senior Director of Interactive Marketing, betPARX), Zachary Sold (Vice-President of Marketing, Caesars), Elizabeth Lodge (Chief Marketing Officer, Winible) and panel moderator James Fox (Industry Manager, Google) will discuss big data’s role in identifying common trends in player acquisition and retention as well as profiling customer archetypes that aid in enhancing player engagement and meet operator partner expectations.

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The panel ‘It’s an Influencer’s World: Charting the Success of Ambassadors, Streamers and Other Social Media Stars’ will examine the growing influence of alternative affiliate channels such as influencers, streamers and sports ambassadors. Industry luminaries Kelly Koffler (Influencer/YouTube Content Creator, Slot500Club and Beyond Blackjack), Josh Duffy (SM Influencer /YouTube Creator, Slotaholic), Jon Della Terza (Social Media Influencer/Content Creator, NJ Slot Guy), Josh Margolis (Vice-President of Marketing, Prize Picks), Grant Flannery (Head of Marketing, Rivalry) and panel moderator Lazar Miucin (Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, iGaming Advisor) will delve into the distinctive acquisition strategies and content approaches employed by influencers and examine how they can effectively collaborate with operators. Additionally, the panel will discuss adaptation strategies for traditional affiliates to capture the interest of the next generation of players.

The session panel titled ‘Affiliate Diversification: Success Strategies for the Slower Years’ will delve into innovative approaches affiliates can employ to reach new audiences. Affiliate and marketing experts Noam Klivitsky (Vice-President of US Marketing, 888 Holdings), Shmulik Segal (Chief Executive Officer, MediaTroopers) and Max Bichsel (Vice-President, Gambling.com Group) will explore such strategies while emphasizing the significance of strategic media partnerships in ensuring a strong market presence.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the North American market through dedicated conference tracks covering leadership, sports betting, iGaming, industry and growth, compliance and regulation and payments and technology.

Additionally, the conference will include a dedicated tribal symposium, as well as two pre-day conferences; the Capital Market Forum (entry requires a separate ticket) and the Player Protection Symposium.

Purchase your ‘early bird’ ticket at the discounted price of $795 and gain access to all three days of SBC Summit North America (including the Player Protection Symposium) including the exhibition, the conference and exclusive networking parties. Additionally, operators and affiliates can apply for a free pass to the event.

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You can keep up-to-date with the latest news, speakers and exhibitor additions and conference content by subscribing to the bi-weekly SBC Summit North America LinkedIn newsletter.

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888 Holdings

888 Holdings Terminates its Deal with Sports Illustrated

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888 Holdings said on Wednesday it had terminated its deal with Sports Illustrated and was looking at options to sell or exit its direct-to-consumer U.S. operations, due to intense competition and low margins.

Sports Illustrated (SI), known for its eponymous sports magazine, had entered the online betting market in an exclusive deal with 888 in 2021 in a bid to entice SI fans.

Sportsbetting in the US took off in the last few years since it was legalised in 2018, with players in the country partnering up with or buying out British gambling groups that have more experience in that field.

But it has been a long road toward profitability for many sports gambling groups including market leader Flutter-owned FanDuel, which turned profitable for the first time only last year.

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“In the US, the intensity of competition and requirement for scale means huge investment is required to reach profitability,” 888 CEO Per Widerström said in a statement.

BetMGM, jointly owned by Ladbrokes-owner Entain and MGM Resorts, made its first profits in the second half of last year.

888, which is active in four U.S. states, said it was terminating its agreement with SI-parent Authentic Brands and would pay a termination fee of about $25 million.

The termination is expected to help save 888 about $6 million to $7 million per year in 2024 and 2025, it added.

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888 Holdings

Michigan Gaming Control Board Approves 888 Holdings as Hannahville Tribe’s Internet Casino Gaming Provider

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The Michigan Gaming Control Board has approved 888 Holdings’ VHL Michigan LLC as the new platform provider for the Hannahville Indian Community’s internet casino gaming site under the Sports Illustrated brand effective Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 8 am. The tribe operates Island Resort and Casino in Harris, Mich.

The Hannahville tribe entered an agreement with 888 Holdings after Twin Spires, the original platform provider for both internet gaming and internet sports betting, announced its plans last year to exit the business. 888 Holdings’ VHL Michigan LLC became the tribe’s internet sports betting provider on Sept. 7, 2022. Twin Spires no longer offers internet gaming or internet sports betting services in Michigan.

“I wish the Hannahville tribe continued success as they once again may offer their customers both internet gaming and internet sports betting in Michigan,” said Henry Williams, MGCB executive director.

The Hannahville Indian Community was among 10 licensees initially authorized by the MGCB to launch both forms of internet gaming in Michigan on Jan. 22, 2021. In mid-April 2022, the MGCB authorized the state’s 15th internet gaming and sports betting operator. Licenses by law are limited to the three commercial casinos and 12 federally recognized tribes in Michigan.

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