With our latest interview, we got to speak with Jacob Johns, Commercial Manager at OneTwenty, an exciting group that’s making massive waves in the iGaming and affiliate marketing industries! We speak with Jacob about the US market, how the UK market is being undervalued by some and much more.
Income Access (IA) Thanks for speaking with us Jacob! Can you tell us a bit about your background in the iGaming industry and current role with OneTwenty?
Jacob Johns (JJ): First off, I was genuinely excited when you guys reached out, so I'm sincerely grateful for the chance to delve into some questions.
My journey began immediately after university, with two clear goals in mind: relocating to London and making my mark in the gambling industry. I initially ventured into content and data roles at an odds comparison site. Seeking broader experiences, I transitioned to managing high-value accounts at Paddy Power and Betfair, drawn by the prospect of showcasing my skills at a major operator.
My foray into affiliation materialized through a former colleague at Catena Media, opening up a B2B environment where I continued to work well within account management—a facet of the industry that truly resonated with me.
Since joining One Twenty, particularly in my role as a Commercial Manager overseeing the UK Catena Media assets, I've embraced the challenges and thoroughly enjoyed the journey. This dynamic position allows me to draw upon my nine years of industry experience, constantly learning and refining my skills within our diverse portfolio of assets. I'm enthusiastic about the continual growth and improvement that lies ahead.
IA: You have vast experience in the iGaming world. How does that experience help you tackle this everchanging industry?
JJ: I've made it a personal commitment to continually immerse myself in learning and growth, leveraging each position to accumulate knowledge that I can carry forward into new roles. Take, for instance, my early career stint in content creation; it provided invaluable insights into content trends and their impact on revenue. This foundational experience now proves instrumental in my role as a Commercial Manager, enabling me to comprehend the intricacies and challenges inherent in content-related responsibilities.
Moreover, my time spent in the high-value department significantly honed my relationship skills. Managing difficult conversations on responsible gambling and compliance with high-net-worth individuals was a demanding, yet essential aspect of this role. These experiences have proven pivotal in shaping my communication skills and have become an integral asset in my current professional repertoire. Moreover, staying at the forefront of the ever-changing compliance landscape has kept me consistently updated on the dynamic rule changes and their potential impact.
IA: Earlier this year, OneTwenty acquired a variety of leading sports publishing assets from Catena Media in the UK? What excites you about those markets and with this acquisition?
JJ: The UK focus at One Twenty is truly captivating. At a time when certain industry leaders might be diverting their attention from the region, we're not only doubling down on our commitment to the GEO but also exploring growth opportunities in other areas. The synchronicity of the Bet MGM UK launch with the transition of Catena UK assets to One Twenty has made the past few months exceptionally thrilling. The impactful entry of Bet MGM UK has injected a fresh wave of energy into the upper echelons of the industry, and any development that elevates the industry's dynamics truly excites me!
IA: Among the hottest topics in the iGaming industry is in the Americas, both North and South, and OneTwenty has expanded into the US and Latam recently. What challenges do you see in those markets and how would you look to overcome them?
JJ: Following our expansion into LATAM, the primary hurdle has been identifying optimal marketing channels to attract high-quality users for our clients. Take Brazil, for instance—a vast market accompanied by a substantial influx of low-quality traffic. Our focus is now on pinpointing channels that drive superior traffic quality for our operator partners, including avenues like creator and influencer marketing.
In the U.S., the initial challenge lies in establishing a presence amongst the already established American affiliate agencies. However, I believe we stand out by harboring compelling content ideas which are poised to make a significant impact in the region, particularly within the burgeoning soccer market. Our expertise in this realm is evident through the successful management of exceptional soccer sites like Squawka and Betting Odds. Anticipating a surge in interest over the next few years, especially with the Copa America and World Cup taking center stage, alongside the ease of streaming access and the Messi factor, we see a compelling opportunity for explosive growth in the American sports landscape and we will be right there to capitalize!
IA: At OneTwenty, you look to be a global voice at the convergence between sports, media and betting. How do you look to offer a comprehensive suite of products and services that deliver high quality, engaged users?
JJ: Absolutely on point. Over the past 12 months, our primary focus has been not only on driving a high-volume of FTDs but also on ensuring that these players are of the utmost quality. This dedicated strategy has resulted in an impressive 100%+ growth in net revenue and deposits for many of our key partners. We achieve this by engaging customers at every touchpoint throughout their lifecycle across a diverse range of sites.
We've strategically tailored our approach to cater to different audiences, with some sites like GG.co.uk and horseracing.net targeting core bettors, boasting high returning user bases. Meanwhile, sites such as racingtips and footballtips are geared towards more casual bettors.
Specifically, with Squawka, our emphasis has shifted towards branding and upper-funnel marketing, strategically positioning the brand at the nexus of sports media and betting. Leveraging Squawka's dedicated and extensive social following, we control the narrative in the football stats domain. Our vision is to become the user's second screen during a game, delivering compelling content pre-game, in-play, and post-game through our social handles. This approach not only engages users seamlessly throughout the game but also strategically promotes our clients at key moments, ensuring a comprehensive and immersive experience for our audience.
Thanks for reading our latest Affiliate Q&A! Click on the link below to connect with Jacob and his team.