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CAESARS UK AT THE WSOP


Marketing is now about authentic content and telling stories around brands. Things like that connect with customers far





and we all have dinner in the casino. The team is up to 15 players, so often people have already met before that anyway, or already knew each other from playing. My interactions with them are to answer questions, often about Las Vegas as many of them have never been. They also meet players from previous teams as we have been sending teams for the past four years; this was the biggest team we have sent though. We have their photographs up in the poker room now, so even new customers can see and aspire to what our other players have won. They’re like ambassadors without even realising it, talking about their experience and how much fun they had.


better than simply advertising, the connection is far stronger.





CI: I would think they are very much ambassadors; they will be telling everyone they know they’re going to the WSOP… SS: If you look at Rommel’s social feed – and the Empire’s social too – it comes across as exactly what it is – a real team spirit of people doing things together, absolutely delighted with the opportunity to go and revelling in it. For a casino of our size, achieving the things we want to achieve, it isn’t about paying a really big player to go and do something and talk about us;


people want something more authentic than that. They want to be able to associate with it. When you see real people doing it and being supported by the Empire, then it’s more realistic and people can believe in it a lot more.


Marketing is now about authentic content and telling


stories around brands. Things like that connect with customers far better than simply advertising, the connection is far stronger. What Rommel and his team have done is driven a lot of loyalty in a really sustainable way; when people feel very connected to a brand and the people around it, those bonds are hard to break.


CI: How do you capitalise on this, where is your return? It’s an expensive thing to do, and I know we have touched on it with how players will talk about the experience but… Is that enough? It’s a tough one to quantify. SS: There is a qualifying period, so there’s a chunk of time where people have to play to try and qualify, we’re not just picking a team out of the air. It is about giving players a reason to visit for the year. The awareness side has an element of return on investment as well, getting new players through, awareness of the Empire Casino… The Empire poker room is having a fantastic year and that’s despite much more competition around us. In the scheme of things, the cost is relatively small. There is a definite return on the investment, it is just measured in many different ways. It’s hard for poker players to feel valued in loyalty


programs because points are not earned in quite the same way as one slots or table games, so that doesn’t have as much pull for poker players. Things like this are pivotal to driving stronger loyalty with our players.


38 DECEMBER 2019


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