Interview: The Sportsbetting Brand Manager on "Finding That Sweet Spot'"

11 November 2016 By Alastair Cleland

1521 Original

​With over 8 years’ experience in utilities marketing under his belt, Brighton-based Dan Towse made the jump to a sector where his passions really lay – sportsbetting. Securing the Brand Manager role at Panbet (which services Marathonbet) took some serious vision, so how did he make leap between sectors?

Tell us about what you did at EDF Energy , and what inspired the career shift this Summer?

EDF Energy operates in an extremely competitive, cluttered market with huge choice for consumers. I had various roles during my time there spanning from Acquisition to Brand and that experience put me in a good place for my new role. Whilst it seems like a shift in direction, I could see clear similarities between my utilities experience and the sportsbetting sector. Now I get to do something much closer to one of my passions!

Sportsbetting’s a highly competitive marketplace. What’s been your focus in the first few months at Panbet?

Brands are so much more than a logo. You need to come up with a proposition that’s going to engage consumers, that nobody else has thought of, but that’s still aligned to the direction of the company. There are tangible aspects like TV advertising – and it’s certainly nice to see your work come to life – but identifying the brand proposition is critical. We currently find ourselves interviewing consumers to find that ‘sweet spot’ which will help define our brand strategy.

Describe a bit more about your day-to-day responsibilities.

I’m making sure every touchpoint – from ATL campaigns to business cards – are consistent and have introduced a new Brand approval process My team of 7 direct reports oversee our design, PR, copywriting, social and video content. There’s also our sponsorships with Man United, Malaga and Hibernian football clubs  to activate and leverage off, so working very closely with our sponsorship colleagues It’s a busy but exciting at the same time.

Presumably you’ve got to be a bit of a techie to do what you do – which apps help you get through the day?

I’ll be honest with you… I try to keep it simple: pen, paper, diary and my iPhone! When you overcomplicate you end up tying yourself up in a knot.

What was your 5 year career plan 5 years ago?

I certainly had a long-term view of getting into the betting sector but to make myself as appealing as possible to recruiters, I tried to tick as many boxes experience-wise to help me get there: acquisition, CRM, ATL (above-the-line), BTL (below-the-line) and digital.

How do you inspire, manage and lead teams through the highly changeable and competitive online environments you’ve been working in?

Ultimately, I need to trust my team to deliver the day-to-day, otherwise I’m never going to get the time to look at the bigger picture. Processes I’ve learnt from previous roles have been implemented to help with campaign delivery but my way isn’t always the right way – its working collaboratively with all the marketing teams to ensure it works across all channels.

Any sage advice for job-seekers out there who like the sound of brand management?

Get your personality across. When I first heard about my current job (on LinkedIn), rather than send in a CV and wait, I made the effort to call Pentasia directly and actually speak to the consultant. Particularly as I was moving sectors, that allowed me to sell my personality to the recruiter, and allowed the recruiter to sell on to the employer.

Final free plug for Panbet as an employer and a brand?

Absolutely – so Panbet services the MarathonBet brand, which is available in 9 languages and 94 countries. Personally, I’m really enjoying the role here, and the team have been fantastic. We’re confident the results will reflect the hard work everyone’s putting in.

Thanks for your time, Dan – all the best with it!