STS Becoming a new leading Omi-Channel operator
Mateusz Juroszek, CEO of STS.
What does entertainment mean for STS?
Entertainment is the core of our business. We believe that 1 million of our customers in Europe are looking to be entertained and we are proving to be a good provider of entertainment. Our new advertising campaign is connected to this idea. Its main theme is the knowledge of players, expressed by the slogan which translates as: “You know a lot, you can bet” (Dobrze wiesz, możesz obstawiać). At STS we have always focused on people who are passionate about sports, thanks to which they have enough skills to make good bets. It is due to their knowledge that they can enjoy their winnings. STS, on the other hand, because of bonuses, promotions and a modern mobile phone app, provide customers with the opportunity to test themselves.
How have STS developed?
STS have increased their revenues more than tenfold – from PLN 220 million to PLN 2.41 billion – in the last six years. This year, revenue forecasts show us that we can generate more than PLN 3 billion. Currently, STS have a 47% market share of the Polish bookmaking market and 80% of revenues are generated by online channels, such as on their website as well as applications dedicated to Android and iOS. We are sure that our growth will continue due to investments in technology and customer functionalities.
STS recently opened a new office in Malta. Please tell us more?
We have opened a new office in Malta. Malta is the third location of the company, STS have offices in Katowice and Warsaw in Poland. It was necessary to establish the office in a place which is at the very heart of the iGaming sector in Europe. Malta offers access to the well-developed infrastructure of dedicated services for bookmakers and attracts talented and experienced employees. This will certainly contribute to our further expansion. Our team in Malta is still growing, meaning our services will become bigger and better.
What additional European countries can we expect to see STS enter?
STS are now the biggest bookmaker in Poland, the company offer their services in the UK, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar, Slovakia, Malta and Latvia. We are thinking about breaking into other markets in Europe, for example, in the Netherlands. We are waiting to see what regulatory changes will be implemented there.
The owners of STS have recently made a significant investment in Better Collective. What was the key driver behind this?
We have made an equity investment in Better Collective. We have bought almost 140 000 shares of Better Collective for more than EUR 1 million. Better Collective are such a large and very well-known entity, especially in the Americas where the iGaming industry is growing rapidly. We really believe in affiliate businesses and the potential for growth. That is why we see this investment as a long term asset. We have been looking to diversify our family investment portfolio and we saw Better Collective as a perfect chance to do just that.
Betting brands have never been more prominent within sports sponsorship. What do you see as the key drivers of that trend? Any instincts about the next big sponsorship trend?
STS actively engage in supporting Polish sport, being the largest private entity on the domestic sponsorship market. The company is the official sponsor of the Polish national football team as well as the main sponsor of Jagiellonia Bialystok and the official bookmaker of Lech Poznań, Cracovia, Pogoń Szczecin, Korona Kielce, Górnik Zabrze, Zagłębie Lubin, Anwil Włocławek, Asseco Resovia and PGE Vive Kielce as well as the Futsal Ekstraklasa, KSW and other clubs and sports associations.
STS are also involved in supporting esports, i.a. x-kom AGO. Esports are definitely one of the most promising industries for bookmakers. Every day there are a lot of events around the world – which make the choices in betting very extensive. This applies to both pre-match and live betting. After all, esports are already in the top ten of the most popular sports that our betters place their bets on. Hence, our goal is to make us more and more recognisable among fans. Many operators have even signed contracts with esport teams. In the near future, we should expect more large contracts that will increase the involvement of bookmakers in esports.
Revenues from esports are rapidly growing year by year with revenue percentage increases being in the three-figure mark. There is currently no other discipline that could consistently boast of such results year by year. Of course, because it is a new category, it is not of the same significance as football or tennis. But it’s already in the top ten. Five years ago not many bookmakers had esports in their selection. Since then, the capital expenditure in this sector can be expressed in millions. As a result, igaming companies have become one of the most recognisable sponsors among esports fans.
What distinguishes esports from other types of bets is that punters often bet on games being tied, especially in CS:GO. In addition, esports offer a wide range of special bets, which are mainly specific to the League of Legends game. Compared to other disciplines, esports are similar to ski jumping, in the sense that there are a lot of bets on individual competitors.
STS for sport fans?
STS’s participation in sponsorship activities goes far beyond showcasing a logo. The company focuses on activities directed to all fans, as they are the most important element in the world of sport. The bookmaker’s main goal is to support them in actions that create an unforgettable atmosphere around sports.
STS implement many unique projects together with clubs and sports fans from all over Poland. Noteworthy initiatives include replacing the football tops of any Lech Poznań fan that had K. Hamalainen’s name on them after his departure. The bookmaker also participated in the kolorujeMY initiative, the purpose of which was to renovate educational care facilities. We also carried out a Shirt for Basel (Koszulka na Basel) campaign, during which STS replaced their shirt sponsor logo on the Lech Poznan top to that of a charity organisation. STS were also engaged in preparing a special tifo display for Artur Boruc’s last appearance in the national team.
STS also supported the fans of Górnik Zabrze in preparing a giant flag in the shape of the club’s jersey. Together with Jagiellonia Białystok, STS organised a vote for the graphic design of the club’s new team bus. Moreover, we periodically run #STSBet (#ZakładSTS) initiatives – we helped beat the record for the loudest cheering at the Podpromie hall in Rzeszów and the Legionów hall during an EHF Champions League quarter-final featuring PGE Vive Kielce. STS also lead numerous initiatives directed at sports fans during game days, such as special zones with attractions dedicated to fans or free transport to stadiums.
STS are also engaged in the ongoing support of sports organisations which require aid due to random or unfortunate events. One example is supporting Ruch Radzionków after the club had been robbed of their sports equipment. Thanks to the aid organised by STS, the players were able to purchase the necessary equipment.
The STS foundation?
The Sport Is Your Chance Foundation (Fundacja Sport Twoją Szansą), which conducts activities for the development of Polish sport, was founded at the initiative of STS. The foundation assists talented athletes by providing them with material aid and substantive support – it helps them to organise suitable training facilities for their careers or participate in competitions at a national or international level.
So far, the Foundation’s beneficiaries can boast many successes in the national and international arena. Swimmer Paweł Juraszek has claimed such successes with a bronze medal in the European Championships. Magdalena Stefanowicz became a gold and silver medallist during the Junior Championships of Poland in sprinting. Backed by the Foundation, the Polish wheelchair rugby national team took 3rd place in the World Cup Qualifiers, thus qualifying for the World Cup in Australia. The foundation also provided help in the preparations of Janusz Rokicki for the London Paralympics and he then ended up winning two silver medals.