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19 August 2019

All eyes are on Shanghai: “The International” annual gaming competition

Parimatch’s Head of e-sports Stepan Shulga looks ahead to this year’s “The International” annual gaming competition August is here, the month when the entire e-sports community waits in anticipation for the largest competition in the e-sports calendar to begin. “The International” sees competitors fight it out in the online battle arena of Dota2, for the chance to win millions of dollars in prize money. This year the venue is in Shanghai, the first time the competition has been held in China. The clever people at Valve Corporation, developers of the Dota2 universe came up with the idea of crowdfunding the prize money, giving fans and players the opportunity to have an impact on the size of the prize fund. At the time of writing, the prize pot currently stands at $32 million USD, almost as much as the French football team made when they lifted the World Cup trophy in 2019!  Admittedly, the prize money will be shared amongst 16 teams, but it is still a life-changing amount. But why does The International matter to Parimatch?  From a commercial perspective - you may be surprised to hear that the number of bets we take on the event is similar to what we see with more traditional sports, and we see great loyalty towards e-sports teams from young adults. It also matters because we sponsor the successful e-gaming team Virtus.pro. It gives us great pride to say that Virtus.pro is one of the top three e-gaming teams, and is one of the favourites to win this year’s competition. Parimatch has a reputation for partnering with sporting winners! For now, we wait with bated breath for the tournament to start on the 20th August, and wish our friends at Virtus.pro the best of luck as they continue to conquer the e-sports world!

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14 August 2019

Nine years of successful customer support

As a well-established international betting business, we strive to find bespoke solutions for each customer inquiry, with the aim of offering the best customer service in the industry. Tatiana Lyubchenko, Head of Customer Support Parimatch, shares her experiences. What is the main function of the Customer Support department? The customer support we offer at Parimatch stands out from our competitors. First and foremost, it is the talented and dedicated customer support team who deliver a superior service to our customers which makes the department so successful. There are also other differences between us and other betting companies: Our team communicates with customers using nine different channels, meaning that they can use whichever method they prefer to contact us, whether that be via the telephone, instant messenger or social media. Time is one of the things our customers value the most, so we try to respond to them as quickly as possible. This is why keeping track of operational efficiencies is critical to our service. Our team speaks six languages. We attempt to predict and in turn answer the questions of our key customers before they contact us. Customer support at Parimatch has five key teams: Incoming line - answers, calls, and emails. Social media monitoring - the answering of WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, and forums messages. Sales department: works with potential and current customers who have previously played with us. Quality control and training – the team select and train new customer support specialists, carry out monthly employee assessments, prepare internal reports as well as deliver employee engagement initiatives. VIP department - working with VIP clients to deal with any requests. What effect has the rebranding had on the Customer Support department? Parimatch’s rebranding was one of the critical projects of last year. In customer support, the rebranding has resulted in two new workstreams: The collection and processing of feedback from customers on the new branding. A differentiated service provided to customers depending on age and location. At present, Parimatch’s standard customer support is offered in 16 locations. The way we communicate with our customers in each region and age group is different, depending on local customs and communication preferences amongst the age group. For example, under 25s in Eastern Europe prefer: Messages should be short We do not use templated and transition phrases; communication depends on regional aspects Emojis and GIFs to express emotions Esports language and phrases However, a customer who is over 35 from Central Asia needs an entirely different approach: Detailed explanations Spoken to with respect Prefer verbal communication over text messages How does it work with VIP customers based in different regions? When it comes to our VIPs, we are dedicated to providing a premier service catered to the individual requirements of the player. Being a VIP client of Parimatch means having a personal VIP manager, receiving gifts on special occasions, access to benefits with our partners, and the speedy resolution of issues 24 hours a day. The VIP manager makes payments and solves any issues with the VIP’s account before they are even aware that there is a problem. For example, if a customer enters a password incorrectly, after two minutes the VIP manager contacts the customer to help them. How do we deal with negative feedback? Working in customer support, negativity from customers is inevitable. According to our statistics, 90% of all client requests are complaints. Therefore, resistance to stress and the ability to work with complaints are a critical skill of our customer support specialists. There are four basic rules to follow when dealing with a customer who has had a negative experience: A calm voice An understanding of the client's complaint The offer of a clear, structured and professional answer Aim to exceed the customer’s expectations What does the future hold? The main focus for the next six months will be to: Continue to develop our service by introducing more specialist teams Update our CRM system so that we can be even more customer-oriented. Change the approach to our evaluation system. In the future, an estimate of the operator's performance during the reporting period will be exhibited by the client, and not by the manager. There are also several projects planned to help speed up response time. Although we already offer a high level of support, it is critical that we don’t get complacent and continue to improve the support we give to all of our customers.

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24 July 2019

It’s time: Parimatch and UFC celebrate a year of successes

It has been just one year since we partnered up with mixed martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), but as is the case for fighters in the octagon, progress can be made very quickly with the right mentality. And sure enough, since July 2018, both UFC and Parimatch have been on the offensive, the US-based MMA company making its first strides into Russia to hold the most attended fight night of the year; Mark Hunt vs. Alexei ‘Boa Constrictor’ Oleinik. The victory earned Oleinik ‘Performance of the Night’ and increased his profile as one of the sport’s toughest competitors. Having noticed the icon’s fighting spirit, we announced Oleinik as an ambassador last April, joining the ranks of Conor McGregor, who we signed on as brand ambassador in early February. In a year where UFC smashed its previous pay-per-view record by 800,000 and October’s Khabib vs. McGregor fight night hit 2,400,000 views, we broke records of our own; with the same fight bringing in more new players for Parimatch than any other sporting event last year. This is what is so exciting about the hype-driven sport of MMA; it differs from other sports as it doesn’t have the same consistency and regularity of events. It’s an event-driven business which pays off with big fights. For example, with the English Premier League, betting turnover is generated every week, but only the Champions League final delivered a higher turnover of bets last year than the Khabib vs. McGregor showdown. But our relationship with UFC is about more than just the metrics. We have a close connection, so for us, the relationship is a coming together of brand ideologies. Our spirit is the same and it is the qualities of freedom and courage which unites sports bettors and octagon brawlers. For Sergey Portnov, our CEO, Mixed Martial Arts have long been a passion and a way of life, and he spotted an opportunity to capitalize on the meteoric rise in popularity of the UFC in order to provide proof of positioning for Parimatch as the most daring betting brand in the market. After an epic year, we’re still just as excited to be in the ring with the UFC as when we joined forces. So here’s to another!

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