SiGMA met with affiliate Vadim Fedotov, founder of CelebrityAffiliates, who plans on monetizing C-level celebrity traffic with his new affiliate platform.
It’s a pleasure catching up with you, Vadim. Can you tell us a bit more about this idea and how do you plan on taking off?
What started off as a knack for hanging out with famous people, grew into what is today known as Celebrity Affiliates. It’s quite simple really. Many celebs, Instagram sensations, influencers have loads of people following their every move but they fail to convert them into paying customers. Sure, a lot of them receive gifts and trips but, from now on but we’re giving them an opportunity to cash in on that traffic in a more accountable way. We already have about eleven celebs in our portfolio, along with one of the biggest adult agencies.
Is the focus is on C level celebrities? How hard it is to manage celebrities as affiliates? Do you believe there is a market out there for online gaming to embrace more traffic coming from celebrities?
Precisely, it would be a bit difficult to get the likes of A-list Justin Bieber on board, who gets paid $10 million to put on a pair of socks. However, the less popular celebrities are still quite valuable and have dedicated local, rather than global fan bases. With the right approach, working with celebrities is quite easy! There are healthy egos and managers do occasionally come in between, but at the end of the day we have a very transparent structure, which allows them full access to see their traffic and earnings. At the same time it demands very minimal input, which allows them to go on about their everyday life uninterrupted.
Gaming wise, not only does our business model supply players from new segments. It also gives us back the control to prolong the player value. Typical affiliation depends on the operator to increase the average player’s life. With Celebrity Affiliates we do that ourselves by making sure that each fan base stays incentivized by the gaming brands to continue playing.
Tell us a bit on your first sign ups and how is traffic generated? Is it mostly social content? Instagram, for instance, does not allow tracking links.
We use a variety of channels. I must say that our initial player value has exceeded our expectations, which has proven that the model works as intended! We found legally sound solutions to several hurdles imposed by different social media platforms. Those are, of course, part of our secret sauce!
Is Malta the right base for this? How has the journey so far been and what is the feedback from the gaming industry?
The base in Malta makes it easier on the operational aspect of things, where I can reach out to any operator in minutes. But we also have offices in London and Tallinn, so between these three locations we have a smooth operation. Feedback from the iGaming industry has so far been a delightful surprise. The idea has been praised at some of the highest levels of gaming, and most are open to this source of traffic.
Tell us a bit more about you – from being a poker player to your passion for Gumball and fast cars.
I started in 2008 with Pokerlistings.com, a job that taught me a lot about SEO. Before that, while studying in New York, I played poker for a living. That was easy! So getting an opportunity to sit on the other side of the business in Europe was a challenge I couldn’t just refuse.
After working for a couple of operators, and a stint with my own casino brand a few years back, I decided to go back to affiliation. Gumball 3000, with its luxury cars and unique vibe among celebrities, played a big part of what makes Celebrity Affiliates today. I have never missed a rally since 2013, be it as a spectator or on the wheel. Watch out for Celebrity Affiliates Team 27 at this year’s Gumball!
Many people out there follow celebrities who are vocal with their luxurious lifestyle. Recognizing that such following has value. With the right platform and good quality traffic, the sky is the limit for this venture.
This article was published first on SiGMA Magazine. Have you attended SiGMA last year? Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.