It is obvious that sports betting in Nigeria have recently become a hug business. In the last four years or more, the Nigerian sports betting and gaming industry has grown astronomically that it has become a trending issue among Nigerians, especially the unemployed youths, not just in major cities, but also in the hinterlands, as they see the trend as a new way of making ends meet.
Today, some of the betting brands around include Naijabet, Nairabet, Betway, Bet9ja, Sportybet, Lionsbet, Merrybet, Surebet247, Betfarm, Betland, 1960bet, Betking, 9japredict, Lovingbet, Winnersgoldenbet, Bet365naija, Championsbet, Saharabet, Marsleisure, 360bet, Superiorbet, UBCbet, Nairastake, Betdey, R & S Bet and Naijagaming among others.
Interestingly, almost all the betting firms engage in one form of advertising or the other, but one can cite the example of BetKing that has employed a unique way in getting a large chunk of patronage among sports betting fans by getting closer to them, the grassroot. The unique way the brand has been involved in reaching more customers, is what is known as commercial tricycles, popularly called Keke Marwa or Keke NAPEP branding.
It is believed that a large chunk of potential customers belong to the hinterlands, in other words, the grassroot. Investigations have shown that while the use of TV ads, newspapers, radio and other forms of advertising have been use maximally by most of the betting firms, the expected results might not be achieved as a result of one constraint or the other, but in the case of BetKing’s innovation, is seen as a very memorable way in spreading its message to the grassroot.
Going to the grassroots with the tactical deployment of the branding of Keke Marwas, BetKing is not just beautifying the tricycles, making them sight to behold, but it is basically because it realised among other things that Keke Marwas are boarded on daily basis by the middle and lower classes of the society, who are more than 80 percent of Nigerian populace.
Also known as transit ads, the brand’s initiative is expected to go a long way in giving it excellent brand recognition as these types of advertisements are seen everywhere daily and making its offering hard to forget.
Interactions with a group of professionals, they opined that the Keke Marwa branding embarked upon by BetKing is quite innovative because it will go a long way in grabbing instant attention.
‘’Unlike the usual and monotonous yellow colour, which most of the Keke Marwas come with, the BetKing branded Keke Marwas are attractive to behold as it makes them stand out from other Keke Marwas on the road.
“Passing drivers and passengers will not pay a great deal of attention to plain yellow van whilst on the road, but they will notice a well-designed vehicle wrap. Colourful vehicle wraps are so engaging that peoples’ eyes will naturally gravitate towards them.
‘’The immediate result of the BetKing branded Marwas would no doubt be reaching a wider audience than the usual radio, television, social media ad or even the stationary outdoor billboards.
“Depending on whether you have one vehicle or a fleet, and how far you travel, you could potentially reach tens of thousands of viewers per month – all of which may need your products or services! You can reach a larger audience with a vehicle wrap than almost any other form of advertising; a business which uses vehicle wraps gain more customers from their vehicle wraps than their websites.
“Potential customers can easily spot your message without significant distraction from what they’re doing. Customers respond better to advertising that doesn’t take an ‘in-your-face’ approach, and surprisingly even the more colourful vehicle wraps do not do this. Many people actually enjoy the striking effect of a vibrant vehicle wrap, without feeling negative towards the advertising,” they said.
Apparently, Bet9ja has over the years deployed strategies in sustaining its leadership position in the hinterlands but with the tactical deployment by BetKing recently, it shows that more competitive engagements should be expected from these two players at the grassroot.
However, it is not certain if BetKing would be able to sustain this Keke tactical deployment in order to own the space and interact with the grassroot because it is understandable that the use of tricycle for advert comes with certain informal rigours. Though there have been some indications that many other betting companies are already eyeing the same strategy.
During the launch of BetKing in 2018 in Lagos, the CEO Byron Petzer’s had promised to change the face of sports betting in Nigeria, and less than two years, the promise is being fulfilled as BetKing impressions are seen everywhere.
Sharing his experience on the branding of the Keke Marwa in Lagos, a rider, Michael Jegede said he is happy seeing his Keke branded with the BetKing advert.
“We were approached by BetKing to brand our ‘’Keke’’ (tricycle). Though it came with few incentive, I believe this initiative has driven more people to the betting platform. More people are beginning to embrace BetKing, especially in our park at Ikeja.’’
Afeez Oresanya said, “If you look around our park here in Abule Egba you will see that majority of the tricycles in this park are carrying BetKing advert. BetKing is the latest betting site in town, majority of our guys here have switched to it.’’
On his own part, Olurotimi Olasupo said, “I got this BetKing ‘’Keke’’ advert cover from our chairman in company of some people from BetKing. They came recently to distribute them to us and we find it so interesting.
“Though I was not used to playing any sports betting, but when BetKing people came to talk us about the importance of playing BetKing, I realised that I have been missing a lot.’’
But the question that might be begging for answer is that, could this dare by BetKing be a battle line with other betting firms including Bet9ja in an aggressive fight for the grassroot? Let us keep our fingers crossed as we expect the battle to be very interesting.