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The Betsafe True Player Challenge

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Using existing customer and 3rd party data, agency Fuse identified the PDC World Darts Championships, the Super Bowl and the French Open as three key sporting events outside the football calendar that had a significant appeal to Betsafe's target segments of ‘sports bettors’. 

It also saw from levels of interest and most relevant consumer behaviours, that the UK and Germany were the most effective markets to activate this campaign in.

Insight regarding the difference in betting-regulations in these two markets added an additional challenge for the agency to overcome - with Germany being a non-regulated market meaning traditional paid media tools are not available for gaming brands although sponsorships and content are still allowed. Whereas the UK represents a regulated market where publicly available targeting options and specific content engagement data are available to betting brands. 

With relatively low activation budgets (€120,000 / $142,000 total), combined with the various regulation restrictions, it meant that Fuse had to be extremely cost efficient in its approach, as well as creating a concept that was compelling enough to achieve cut-through in the build up to these events.

Based on the above insights it decided a large-scale social media acquisition campaign, following the launch of hero content, would be the most efficient way to achieve the objectives. This model and approach was a company first for the Betsafe business.


The True Player Challenge was a key concept to help leverage its wider True Player sponsorship activation strategy, aiming to showcase the elite skills of the City players.

The campaign strategy was focused on initially maximising reach and awareness of engaging content across the core target audience in the UK and Germany. Facebook was identified as a primary and most effective platform to achieve this.

Once it had captured the attention of its core audience on a large scale, Fuse would instantly follow up with a data-driven, strategically-segmented and cost-efficient new customer acquisition campaign offer in the UK. 

Through its generated cookie pool, it could then sequentially re-target consumers who had watched or engaged with the content. In addition, it also wanted to target ‘look-alike’ audiences that profiled similarly to the sequentially targeted audience, maximising the opportunity to engage those who were likely to have seen the content on platforms outside of Facebook. 

To maximise impact in Germany, Fuse chose to partner with the Freekickerz. With an extremely strong followership in Germany, this provided relevant and additional value for the content, whilst also offering an additional organic distribution platform. 

In addition to traditional media-buying and social influencer partnerships, Fuse partnered with the world’s 3rd biggest football Instagram account @Visubal, for highly tactical content placements generating extra momentum of the content. 

Further earned-media value would be gained by incorporating new technologies including Snapchat Spectacles, where Betsafe was the first ever betting brand to use them as part of a sponsorship activation. 


Faced with various challenges including turning a stadium concourse area and football pitch into three dedicated film-sets and Man City limiting each sponsors’ player appearance to 60 minutes, the agency set out to create three unique hero-video-content pieces and an additional industry world’s-first PR stunt with Snapchat spectacles. 

With that in mind, creativity and attention to detail played a key role in the execution of the shoot, ensuring it captured three relevant and optimised pieces of online content. 

Using a variety of unique and relevant features including a 24ft high darts board, lighting, a synthetic grass covered stage and a bespoke tennis court and American football pitch, the agency ensured the look and feel of the set was of the highest quality. For added credibility towards a darts audience, it also invited the legendary Darts announcer John McDonald for a cameo appearance.

In post-production, Fuse used audience viewership data to create a socially optimised video, with strategic and creative features including feed-stopping intros and eye-catching thumbnails. 

To maximise relevance and engagement, each content piece was then released in the days leading up to the PDC Darts Championship, the Super Bowl & the French Open, initiating the first stage of the social acquisition strategy.

Each stakeholder’s expertise was leveraged throughout the execution of the project, with each party taking a creative lead in their respective field. Whilst co-ordination of all internal and external teams was led by Fuse, with the overall project responsibility was assigned to the Betsson Central Sponsorship Team.


The unique content approach of showcasing and combing football skills with three different sports resulted in a surprisingly equal split of reach and engagement when comparing the football, darts, tennis & American football audiences that it targeted.

In total, the three pieces of content generated 25,500,000 impressions, 7,600,000 views and 226,000 engagements across all platforms in the UK & Germany, which helped achieve a remarkably low cost-per-view of €0.005. 

The engagement and CPV results were the best results ever recorded for a brand within the Betsson business group.

The non-sequential approach of retargeting consumers once they had engaged in the content resulted in a 25%+ uplift in customer acquisition compared to previous months.

Awareness of the Betsafe brand amongst Manchester City fans also saw a 90% uplift, increasing by 11% compared to a 2015/16 season study six months prior to the campaign.

It also saw a 4% increase in positive of perception of the Betsafe brand amongst Man City fans from the start of the 16/17 Season.

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United Kingdom
December 2016 - June 2017
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