Behind the scenes: Parimatch & Conor McGregor’s press tour
Legendary UFС fighter and Parimatch brand ambassador Conor McGregor visited the CIS region for a joint press tour with Parimatch Holding in October 2019. Whilst the media continue to analyze his speeches and comments from the press conferences, his fans will remember the visit for a long time. We caught up with Tamara Babits, Deputy CMO at Parimatch, who headed up the team that organized Conor’s visit. What was the aim of a joint press tour with Conor? Our main goal was to generate excitement and interest in the Parimatch brand by highlighting the strength of our partnership with Conor. By creating hype, and giving journalists access to a superstar like Conor, we were able to reach entirely new audiences who may have never heard of Parimatch – and give a real boost to our brand awareness. What were the challenges of arranging a tour for an international superstar? We carefully prepared for the arrival of Conor, but you can’t control everything – especially the weather! We were confronted not only by extreme weather conditions but the migration service and an army of fans. Due to heavy fog in Kyiv, Conor’s plane could not land and the press conference was significantly delayed – and in order to obtain a visa for Moscow, we had to reissue Conor's passport in 2 days! The main thing is to stay calm and have a pragmatic approach. You should always be prepared with a back-up plan – although a magic wand would be nice! Were there any funny stories from Conor’s tour? Sure! We were thinking of arranging a stunt involving Conor lookalikes in the city, in order to further boost public interest in the visit. Later we abandoned this idea, but Conor's doubles co-ordinated their own appearance, which generated hype amongst the public and media alike. How does Parimatch choose its brand ambassadors? The choice of brand ambassadors should always be aligned with strategy and brand positioning. Parimatch is dynamic, courageous and international. We consider potential ambassadors by assessing their levels of recognition in the countries we operate in, how well they resonate with the spirit of the company and the influence and scale of their fan community. We are also very mindful of the preferences of our own audience. In 2018, Conor and Habib created a lot of hype around their fight. We already had our partnership in place with the UFC and were actively looking for an ambassador. Since February 2019, we have been working with Conor. Conor was the face of our new branding, announced at the same time as the ambassador deal. We are unique in the CIS betting market in this way - with a history and strong heritage going back 25 years, we still dared to radically change. How do brand ambassadors' actions affect the company’s image? Companies choose ambassadors for their image, style, and influence – and Conor’s attitude reflects our own. We chose Conor for his boldness, so we are much more flexible than other brands might be. Obviously we have our own brand guidelines and boundaries in place, which we proactively communicate to all of our ambassadors. What effect has your partnership with Conor had on the business? We’ve really seen an increase in recognition and interest in Parimatch since Conor’s tour of the CIS countries, and his announcement on returning to the octagon certainly helped! It’s a win-win collaboration, and this is backed up by a study we’ve conducted that assesses the results of our marketing activities and communications around the partnership. Reveal the secret - who is the next brand ambassador? We will continue to surprise and build brand loyalty by choosing bold characters and influential voices to be our ambassadors. We regularly analyze the preferences of our customers and keep them on our radar. I won’t reveal the secret, but I’ll hint - we are currently in negotiations with Hollywood.