The iGaming sector has exploded as online technology improves – you only need to see the number of online sports betting and casino sites advertising on television and digital to understand that.
Whatever your views on gambling, you will acknowledge that the online betting industry is so huge that it will have raked in around $75 billion in revenues last year, according to Fortune Business Insights.
Some global players have become so big that they’ve entered the glamourous but expensive world of Formula 1 sponsorship.
iGaming sponsorship gives you wings
At the start of the current season, PokerStars announced it had inked a deal with F1’s Red Bull Racing, one of the biggest teams in the Grand Prix paddock, for whom current world champion Max Verstappen drives.
The new sponsorship allows the company to promote its PokerStars Casino brand further. With a huge number of F1 fans, The Stars Group expects to get its PokerStars brand noticed.
But it doesn’t just mean that the RB18 race cars will have PokerStars emblazoned across them. Red Bull is known for doing things a bit differently, so the new sponsorship will see opportunities for fans to be rewarded in new and exciting ways. Content marketing is the name of the game, and Red Bull is a master at it.
It was only a year ago that Entain agreed with the McLaren team to have its PartyCasino brand on the McLaren F1 cars. Perhaps that’s what set the scene for F1 to be the new bearer of iGaming branding?
But actually, PokerStars was also noted as an official betting partner of Formula One last year, and fans of the sport will have noticed Stars branding around numerous circuits in the F1 calendar.
All in all, it means 2022 will be an exciting time for F1 and online gaming. Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner was delighted with the new partnership. He said: “In our sport, we see constant evolution, not only applied to cars but also to new technologies that are focused on reaching the sport’s global fanbase to provide new and interactive experiences for them to enjoy.”
Evolution and interaction
You don’t just have to listen to the words of Horner to realise that technology is always evolving. We see it all the time in pretty much every industry, but things are constantly changing in online gaming. And with it, it gives new opportunities and ways to interact with players.
If you think back to when online casinos first came out, it honestly did feel like perhaps this was something that wasn’t going to cotton on. There was a selection of games, slots and table classics such as blackjack and roulette. They were mostly played on software that you had to download, and this was all back in the day when we didn’t have the internet speeds we’re used to now.
But just as the advancement of the internet continued to grow, so did the world of online gaming. Big developers such as Microgaming and NetEnt were delivering cutting-edge games. Slots were becoming mega-popular, and over the years, we saw more and more branded content. This in turn led to many great places to play, such as PokerStars Casino, PartyCasino or combined sports betting/casino sites like STS in the UK, which give players the chance to try their hand at practically any casino game.
As the portfolio of games grew, so did the way they were played. On slots, it used to be a case of spin and see how much you could win. Then features were introduced. Paylines increased, and revolutionary technology such as the MegaWays engine came along, giving players the chance to land more wins across multiple combinations. Add amazing graphics, fast gameplay, and almost all the games can be played on mobile; it’s no wonder slots have become so popular.
So, too, have the other casino classics. People can now enjoy live versions of roulette or blackjack and get the magic of a casino beamed straight into their living room. And of course, more and more variations of games are being released, each offering players the chance to win real money too.
Which makes it no surprise that iGaming companies are entering sponsorships and spreading their marketing wings. Betway has gone from relative obscurity to sponsoring West Ham United FC and appearing in TV adverts.
So, for a company as big as PokerStars, it needs to have some mega presence across the globe, which no doubt it will get by getting its name in front of F1 fans.