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Santiago Melo

COLOMBIA - Tourism

Santiago Melo

General Manager, Betsson Colombia

Bio

Santiago Melo is General Manager of Betsson Colombia.

“With some 17 different operators, the Colombian market is highly competitive. It is also a massive market, with an estimated 8-10 million potential users. We therefore felt it would be best if we launch under our flagship brand Betsson, which is well known globally, is trusted, and is one of the biggest brands in the region today.”
Following a rebranding exercise in 2022, Betsson Group is looking to build up its brand in the highly competitive market through marketing campaigns and partnerships, with the goal of becoming the market leader in 2023.
GiG has inked a new deal with the Betsson Group to provide its platform. Can you elaborate on the scope of this partnership?

The deal was finalized in 2022, though we were already working with the GiG Group prior to that in other countries. The platform that we currently have in Colombia was built on top of the GiG platform. It has allowed us to enter and grow in the Colombian market and capitalize on the Betsson brand quickly.

What was the thinking behind the rebranding effort in 2022?

Betsson Group acquired a majority stake in the Colombian operator Colbet in 2020. Following that, we integrated Colbet onto Betsson’s platform and kicked off a rebranding exercise, which we concluded in 1Q2022. With some 17 different operators, the Colombian market is highly competitive. It is also a massive market, with an estimated 8-10 million potential users. We, therefore, felt it would be best if we launch under our flagship brand Betsson, which is well known globally, is trusted, and is one of the biggest brands in the region today. Indeed, Betsson is a leader in the Peruvian market and has quickly established a presence in Argentina. We also look forward to being regulated in Brazil. Operating under the Betsson brand allows us to take advantage of the fantastic marketing campaigns and sponsorship opportunities that the group is doing in the region.

In terms of your portfolio of products and services, how do you differentiate yourself in a competitive market?

For Betsson, 2022 was the year of starting to build a brand, better understand the Betsson brand within the local context, and also analyze how we could position it in the Colombian market. Following the rebranding, we embarked on a number of initiatives, such as the sponsorship of the CONMEBOL Copa América Femenina. We then launched a partnership with Mario Yepes, a former captain of the Colombian soccer team. We are now launching an ambassador program with Nicole Regnier, who was also part of the Colombian women’s soccer league and now is a presenter and a host on different ESPN shows.

What are your priorities for 2023?

During 2022 we established our presence in Colombia. Besides opening a Latam regional operations center in Bogotá, we also showed that we had managed to get the right traction in key business metrics, such as deposits and new customer acquisition. We demonstrated that Colombia has the right strategy and team and that those metrics have the correct traction. Now, we need to build further and our goal is to be the market leader; 2023 will be a year of continuous growth. Indeed, we currently have several open vacancies for key talent to join us in Bogotá and be part of Betsson Group’s growth in the region.

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