One of the highlights of today’s SBC Summit Tbilisi organized by the British Sports Betting Community in tandem with the Georgian SMH Sports was discussion that touched upon the topic of development of sports and strategic collaboration and effects this has on local business.
Sharing the stage at the magnificent Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace Hotel were
La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Digital Business Director, Gianluca Varano, Yevhen Levchenko, Chairman of the Dutch Trade Union for Professional Footballers, FC Dinamo Tbilisi’s CEO Zaza Dolidze, with Lasha Machavariani, CEO & Founder of SMH Sports, moderating the discussion.
From the very top of the panel Mr. Varano announced that La Gazzetta dello Sport is set to launch in Georgia and offer their content in the native language. This was a true sensation and the audience reacted with a thunderous applause to double tap on the excitement that this news created on and off stage.
Together with SMH Sports the Italian sports media giant is looking to make history in the region and offer a unique insight into the sports media market opening a new chapter in the development of the local sports media in tandem with the strong and established informational brand from Italy. Together with sports betting brands La Gazzetta dello Sport are integrating a series of content that is first and foremost focused on delivering real insights to their audience. Such collaboration aims at satisfying all the needs of the sports fans.
Then Yevhen Levchenko offered his perspective on the approach that the Dutch sports in general and football in particular takes when it comes to betting brands working with and supporting the local sports initiatives. The most important thing in Yevhen’s opinion is to do a thorough job of explaining what is going on in betting and how it may affect not only sporting fans, but also the athletes. Betting on sports is already a huge part of Dutch culture and the government together with all of the stakeholders in the country’s sports are paying very close attention to following the defined rules as well as doing their part of explaining the consequences of going against the rules. Together with the Dutch association and the Ministry of Sports the Union that Yevhen represents have developed the rules for regulating the sector in a compliant and honest way. The Union goes from player to player and explains rules for fair engagement in gambling. For Yevhen the most important aspect is to be very clear and give clear guidance on what is permitted and what is not.
Zaza Dolidze took the stage to reveal some details about the history of collaboration between football clubs and betting companies. A closer collaboration started forming back in 2019 with CrystalBet’s sponsoring of the national league, which has become a major event in the Georgian sport at that time. According to Zaza, the contribution of betting brands turned out to be very successful and beneficial as clubs received additional resources to develop their talents. Fans got the opportunity to connect with their favorite athletes on a new level, essentially combining entertainment, development and growing the industry in several directions all at once. FC Dinamo Tbilisi CEO underlined the vitality and importance of having the support from a betting brand to a football club as not only this expands the brand awareness for the brand, it significantly broadens the avenues for the development of the national sports at every level.
Panelists agreed that sports collaboration with gaming brands offers more opportunities to develop both sports and gaming sectors in a way that benefits the industry and society alike, as added exposure provides additional opportunities for spreading awareness and communicating the importance of following the rules and principles of responsible gambling and fair play, which in turn has a cumulative positive effect on society as often the alleys for entertainment become the important tools to communicate the importance of personal responsibility, something that rings true in every industry, but is specifically highlighted in sports and gaming, where following the rules is ever so important.
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