LETOU The Q&A Paul Fox – LeTou
Broughton quizzed LeTou CEO, Paul Fox, on the merits of sports
sponsorship. CIO’s Matt
CIO: When was LeTou created?
PF: LeTou was established in 2006 and became the first Asian entertainment services company to provide cash-based online gaming.
CIO: Who are the people behind LeTou? PF: I am the CEO at LeTou and have been working in the gaming industry throughout my career. My grandfather was a bookmaker and having worked in the family business after leaving school, I then became a trader as the industry moved online. I joined LeTou in 2016 with the aim of turning it into a recognised industry brand and in my role as CEO I have secured our sponsorship deals with Swansea City and Inter Milan.
CIO: How did you come to choose Swansea City and Inter Milan?
PF: Our partnership with Swansea City signalled our first foray into the sports sponsorship market and the English Premier League was the obvious place to start. The competition reaches global audiences in every continent and the deal showed that we were a serious player in the industry.
After a successful year with Swansea City, we wanted to reach the next level, and becoming the Official Asian Gaming Partner of Internazionale Milano has allowed us to do that. Inter are a giant of Italian football steeped in history, and this season also saw them return to the UEFA Champions League after a six-year absence. Another key selling point for us was Inter’s strong fanbase in Asia and the club’s commitment to growing their audience throughout the region.
CIO: What impact does these partnerships have on business?
The sponsorship deals are primarily branding exercises
PF: Partnering with Swansea City and Inter Milan has helped us to increase our credibility among brands and showed we are a company that can be trusted. The sponsorship deals are primarily branding
exercises, with the Premier League and Serie A giving us a platform to promote our messaging to fans in Asia and across the world.
We worked with Swansea to create the first ever Chinese New Year jersey that was worn in an official Premier League match, and recently produced a series of videos with Inter to celebrate the year of the pig. This activity has allowed us to engage with fanbases of the two clubs and continue building brand awareness in China.
CIO: What are the benefits of such partnerships beyond brand name exposure?
PF: With Swansea City, when there were bigger games on television in Asia – for example against Manchester United and with LeTou branding on the shirts and LED messaging boards – we could see a slight uptake in the number of bets placed. But the overall objective for us at LeTou, and for other gaming companies, is increasing brand name exposure through long-term activations.
CIO: Will you be looking for further partnerships in the next 12 months?
PF: The partnership that we signed with Inter Milan at the beginning of the 2018-19 season was a multi-year deal and we are looking forward to continuing our relationship with the club in 2019-2020. I’m always interested in exploring what other opportunities are out there, but we do not have any other designs on further sponsorships at this stage.
CIO: What are your thoughts on the current state of online gambling, and what you think the future holds for the industry.
PF: The online gambling industry varies a great deal in different territories across the world. In the Netherlands, for example, they are about to regulate the industry, whereas in the UK there could be a drastic change were The Labour Party elected into government.
CIO MARCH 2019 63
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