EGR Q&A with CEO Jamie Knowlson

Q&A: CheckdMedia CEO on its product innovation roadmap and bolstering its senior team

Affiliate marketing firm makes a raft of senior hires and unveils new mobile app Fantasy Hub

[PUBLISHED ARTICLE]

Manchester-based affiliate marketing firm CheckdMedia has high ambitions this year, having already made a raft of senior hires and with an abundance of new social media marketing deals under its belt.In just the last few months, the company has bolstered its senior management team by appointing a new marketing director, head of commercial and product director.

The firm has also signed social media marketing deals with Premier Punt and MansionBet. CheckdMedia helps brands such as these with the distribution of their digital campaigns and extending their reach to a network of 2.3 million fans, an audience of 127 million+ impressions and a user base exceeding 300,000+ app installs.Elsewhere, the firm announced it has extended its sponsorship of National League North Club Altrincham FC for another season. The renewed partnership means it will continue to see the club’s main stand at Moss Lane named after CheckdMedia B2C brand FootyAccumulators.

Just last month, CheckdMedia unveiled a new brand and product, Fantasy Hub. The free-to-play mobile app is a modernised version of traditional fantasy football, with features and gameplay designed around the always-on nature of mobile gaming.CEO Jamie Knowlson talks to EGR Marketing about the firm’s recent senior hires and its plans for further production innovation following the release of its Fantasy Hub app.

EGR Marketing:

CheckdMedia is now expanding its offering with the newly launched CheckdDevelopment arm and the parent company brand CheckdGroup, could you share your thinking and ambitions around this?Jamie Knowlson (JK):

The ambition is clear, we want CheckdGroup to be the leading full-service agency within the industry, while we want our own products to become the best the industry has to offer. We can offer operators worldwide the opportunity to work with us to create a compelling product proposition right the way through to taking the product to market using both capabilities within the group. There are very few companies that can do this with both the skillset and the reach we’ve got.

EGR Marketing:

This year you’ve hired a new marketing director, head of commercial and now a product director. How have these new appointments helped in terms of new business or growth opportunities? Are there plans to increase your headcount further?

JK: Alex Beecham (marketing director), Harry Bowden (head of commercials) and Adam Patton (product director) have been fantastic additions to the business. All three strategic appointments complement the fact we’re building something special here at CheckdGroup.When team members that are so well respected and recognised within the industry join the team, how can that not help growth? The guys have important roles in the growth of the Group and I’m certain we’re at the beginning of an exciting journey, one of the next big appointments we’re looking to make this financial year is a new Group CEO.When the business started in 2012, I began my journey as a young 20-year-old and now, eight years down the line, it’s been a fantastic experience as CEO but it’s the right time to find someone new to take us forward. In the new group structure as co-founders, Lee and l will still be very much involved from a strategic point of view and will have the time to look at what else is on the horizon.

EGR Marketing: CheckdMedia has signed social media marketing deals with Premier Punt and MansionBet recently.

Can you tell me more about those deals and why social media management is becoming an important revenue stream?

JK: As a UK operator you need to have a certain level of competence when broadcasting across your marketing platforms. Social media is no different and if you do not have the resource to do this in-house then outsourcing is the only option if you want to compete. We’ve been one of the leading social media pioneers in the space for over eight years now and by offering this expertise alongside our communities for reach and amplification, it becomes an exciting proposition. There are only one or two betting companies in the world that have the level of engagement we have on our social media communities, and our clients can enjoy the prospect of leveraging their brands within them.

EGR Marketing:

You recently launched a new B2C brand Fantasy Hub. Can you tell me more about that and also your new CheckdDevelopment arm of the business?

JK: This is the first taste of what’s to come now we have CheckdDev within the group. Fantasy was an obvious first step. It’s an area the team have a lot of experience in and it was a sensible first step for us to take on our path towards offering more engaging and quality content for our football fanatic audience. The CheckdDev side of the business is already well under way to taking all of our existing products to the next level, while we have some new exciting partnership opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible without this new capability within the team.

FH

EGR Marketing:

What product innovation should we expect to see in 2019-20?

JK: Product innovation is a key area of focus for us in this upcoming year, with the main objective to provide premium user experiences that improve the value proposition to both our customer base and our partners. This will see a range of improvements across our web assets and a selection of new mobile apps being released throughout the year. We want to be the one-stop-shop for punters to find the best offers, tips and sports data to help them become more savvy bettors, while integrating our partners on a deeper level in order to make the customer journey more seamless.

EGR Marketing:

You extended your sponsorship deal with Altrincham FC recently, how do these types of deals help you to promote your brands like Footy Accumulators? What commercial opportunities does it present?

JK: The FootyAccumulators brand is all about attracting the average football fan. We are seeing more and more of a stance against the modern game and fans turning to lower league football. They want to see the real game and we as a brand must position ourselves in that space. We have been working on a fly on the wall documentary of our own with Altrincham FC and we are looking to share this late 2019.

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EGR Marketing:

Are you confident that people can see the difference between CheckdMedia as a B2B business and its B2C brands now?

JK: Without a shadow of a doubt, we now have established a community of two million sports betting enthusiasts across multiple brands and platforms all in the UK. CheckdMedia is the brand that is being recognised for this good work. Operators enjoy the fact that they can work with us all year around across a variety of different sports to drive customers, bets and revenue.

EGR Marketing:

Any plans to expand beyond the UK?

JK: A must if CheckdGroup is to be considered one of the big players globally, we already have a solid number of users in Africa, Australia, America and South America. Our ambitions are to establish these countries as solid group revenue streams within the next 18 months.