Exclusive interview with Super Group CEO, Neal Menashe

"We will treat each U.S. state like individual countries"

Neal Menashe, CEO of Super Group.
2021-11-10
United States
Reading time 4:56 min

Super Group, the holding company for Betway and Spin, is at the feedback stage to go public in NY. CEO Neal Menashe discusses Betway’s tried and tested model, which it will roll out across each new license in the US. He says nothing is off the table in terms of new jurisdictions, and Super Group’s model is data-driven to make decisions in real-time. He also analyzes pro sports sponsorships and Live Casino expansion.

At which stage is Super Group now in its process to go public, and what are the next steps and timelines? Why have you chosen the New York Stock Exchange, and a SPAC business combination with Sports Entertainment Acquisition Corp. (SEAH)?

We weren’t necessarily out there looking for a SPAC combination, but a trusted advisor of ours said we should meet Eric (Grubman) and John (Collins) because he could see a natural fit with our expansion plans for U.S. licenses and the brand becoming available to American customers. We all hit it off right away and we knew almost instantly that the SEAH guys were perfect for us. So much so that both Eric and John will be remaining with us on the board once we close. We chose the NYSE because as a huge global business it made sense to be on the largest exchange in the world. We’re at the feedback stage with the SEC on our filing of form F-4 and hope to have more news very soon.

Could you specify the impacts and effects this listing will have in your business, strategies and approach? Which will be the main targets and goals for the new funds and investments? 

Super Group is already a highly profitable business with a healthy balance sheet. Our strategy and approach has been tried and tested for many years as we have gone from territory to territory implementing our plans. We don’t see that changing. Our goals and targets are to continue that success across multiple new territories including individual U.S. states - which we will treat like individual countries. We’re unique in having one global sportsbook brand, Betway, which benefits from every branding deal struck in every major sport. Combined with a very successful multi-brand online casino offering, Spin.

Are there any particular markets or verticals you are planning to grow or expand into, for instance, esports betting, NFT, VR, AR, etc.? What about new jurisdictions and emerging markets, such as Ontario?

We’re already pioneers in esports betting and have a vast array of sponsorships and partnerships which drive that side of the business. We have a very experienced award-winning team who are incredibly passionate about their product. In terms of new jurisdictions for the wider business, nothing is off the table, providing our teams can see an advantage to operating there.

Betway now has gone live in Iowa, joining Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. How would you assess your performance in each of those four different markets so far; which would you say have been the most successful features, best performing categories or segments? Which markets look more promising or appealing for you and why?

It's early days for us operationally in the U.S. and focus thus far has been firmly on market access, our acquisition of DGC (Digital Gaming Corporation, subject to regulatory approval) will drive us forward across each new state. While it’s too early to assess performance, as I’ve said we have a tried and tested model which we will roll out across each new license in the country.

How do you leverage your experience in other regions to be competitive in the growing US sports betting market, and which are your strategies and resources to stand out? Which role are mobile technologies and new gambler behavior analysis playing?

Many of the leaders in our business, including myself, have over two decades of experience in the industry. We’re a global company that has an intense local focus within our teams to drive the best from each territory. Our whole model is data-driven with the best in class technology, making the right instant decisions about our customer base in real time. Ensuring at all times that we’re customer centric and responsible.  

We have recently covered Betway’s deal with Philadelphia 76ers, the brand’s seventh partnership with an NBA franchise. It has also partnered with NHL’s New York Islanders. What is the business strategy behind this kind of deals and decisions, and how do you measure their impact and added value for the company?

Our strategy around sponsorships and branded partnerships is a very simple one. We partner with the largest events and teams to ensure our one global sportsbook brand ‘Betway’ is not only visible in a stadium or arena, but has a global reach across TV coverage within those popular sports. Our flagship English Premier League shirt sponsorship of West Ham United carries us far and wide with global viewers of the most popular football league in the world. The same strategy applies to our NBA and NHL deals, these sports are also hugely popular outside of the U.S.

Betway has also announced a license in Poland this month. In March, it was awarded an online sports betting license in Germany as well. Could you share your current assessment of that newly regulated market, and how you plan to leverage your presence there for your entry into Poland? What can we expect from Betway in that region?

Again I think you can expect us to drive the same strategy across Poland. The global Betway brand is already very well-known with viewership of the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga, where we also have branding deals, both attracting millions of Polish viewers across their TV networks. That’s a very strong start in terms of brand recognition. As with Germany, we’ll also have an expert local team in place to get the nuances of that territory correct for potential and existing customers.

Betway South Africa has recently partnered with South Africa Rugby and the Springboks. In the African market, it has also entered Tanzania. What is your approach and plans for those markets, and which are the key aspects and trends to be competitive there?

The Springboks are a team that plays in matches that are viewed globally and not just in their country of origin. So the same strategy applies with our branded deal with the team. In Tanzania we expect the driving force behind our strategy to be no different, although would expect a higher rate of accumulator (parlay) business to lower individual stakes as tends to be popular across the continent.

Betway has added Live, "First Person" casino games from Evolution in NJ and Pennsylvania, and has also integrated Pragmatic Play's entire Live Casino portfolio this year. What does Live Casino represent in your overall business today, and what are your plans, goals and outlooks for this iCasino vertical, specially in the US?

‘Live Casino’ is a very exciting part of the whole package that we offer our customers, offering a greater level of interaction. As with the Sportsbook offering in the U.S. states it’s probably too early to say, but we know through our experience with our multi-brand casino side of the Super Group business, Spin, exactly what customer behaviour can produce in terms of clues and analysis of how the products should be offered and packaged.

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