SportPesa has been around since 2015 and is headquartered in Nairobi but recently the company has seen some struggles in Kenya and which has necessitated a spread to more international markets. This includes the UK, where it recently obtained a UK Gambling License and has developed multiple sponsorship deals. This also gives the sportsbook and casino a stepping stone to a broader reach of other well-known new markets such as New Zealand and Canada.
The success of SportPesa internationally relies on how they compare to other well-known international casinos and whether they offer the same level of service as those establishments. SportPesa has increased investment in all the most popular gaming and betting options and have included multiple promotions, banking options, security, and even expanded into mobile betting. They are following up their increased online investments with an even larger marketing campaign costing billions of Kenyan shilling to make up for potential decreasing revenues locally, but is it enough?
Sports Betting and Online Casino
SportsPesa has recently expanded its sports-related presence both by developing new international sponsorships and expanding its sports betting to new countries over the past few years in direct response to increased financial pressures in Kenya. Their success will be correlated to how they measure up in quality of player experience as well as how quickly they expand their user base.
When it comes to comparing SportPesa to other international sportsbooks, they are rapidly becoming a big player. Not only has SportPesa included all the most popular sports events, but they have focused their website layout on ease of use and have ensured they provide all the matches found at other popular establishments. One of the major advantages they hold over their competitors is a live betting interface that offers a broad platform of available events along with a long list of upcoming events. Players can also explore verticals such as politics and eSports, allowing more betting options that don’t just include regular sports.
SportPesa provides a full online casino platform which uses industry heavyweights, Microgaming. Their partnership with Microgaming allows them to offer the biggest selections of casino games available, including the most played slot game in the world, progressive jackpot Mega Moolah. In terms of video slots, SportPesa ranks right up there along with other major online casinos but when it comes to virtual table games, there are not many differences between SportPesa and other casinos that offer Microgaming software so differentiation needs to come in the user interface and through online promotions.
Promotions and Marketing
The international online casino business is highly competitive. Operators need to have brand recognition and promotional offers to entice new players. SportPesa has led an aggressive marketing campaign highlighted by sports sponsorship deals both in Kenya and abroad. Their recent sponsorship deal with Everton in the England Premier League follows other high profile shirt and advertising deals with teams like Hull City and Arsenal.
The other component to success is offering lucrative casino welcome bonuses to develop a broad base of new players. Promotions are a major attraction for many players but require a substantial financial investment. The amount of players registered to a casino has a direct correlation to revenue but positive cash flow is generated only after new players have established themselves in the casino. This can take several quarters to achieve and the upfront investment can be a massive liability. The deal with Hull City was worth Sh13.2 billion and it is costing Sh1.3 billion yearly to sponsor Everton, so return on investment must be forthcoming quickly to balance the books.
The Future for SportPesa
The showdown with the Kenyan government over taxation and revenues is far from over and SportPesa will need to expand to succeed. They are well positioned to thrive in international markets due to their impressive player experience and aggressive marketing campaign. The substantial investments that they have put into their website, marketing and promotions will need to pay off in the next few fiscal quarters to truly gauge their worth. In the highly competitive industry of online betting, SportPesa appears to be on the right path to success.