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Behind the big brands

| By Stephen Carter | Reading Time: 4 minutes
Raketech’s creative director Jani Peteri explains the thinking behind the affiliate’s new look and his experience of high-profile branding projects at PokerStars and Betfair

Raketech’s creative director Jani Peteri explains the thinking behind the affiliate’s new look and his experience of high-profile branding projects at PokerStars and Betfair

Given the currently rather precarious position that igaming affiliates are in thanks to regulators across the globe taking an increased interest in their marketing efforts, Raketech’s rebrand seems rather well-timed.

Seeking to reposition itself as a responsible supplier, in October the Malta-based affiliate business announced a new brand identity, centred around a logo known as ‘the guider’.

Jani Peteri (pictured above) the company’s creative director, who joined the firm in June and oversaw the new identity, explains:

“The logo is built up of three icons – the letter ‘R’ for Raketech, the expertise we have in finding users and information, which is represented by the magnifying glass, and then there is the way we analyse data and hit our targets, which is represented by the target symbol. When we put all three together we get our new brand symbol, which we call the guider.”

The new logo (right) is a long way from the somewhat traditional and outdated previous one and, says Peteri, reflects the changes that have been made in the company since it was founded in 2010.

“The rebrand for Raketech was needed because we simply are not the same brand we were when the company was founded.

“Raketech has had a remarkable journey and we wanted a brand that reflects what we have accomplished, where we are today and to show we are ready to take the company to the next level.”

Peteri is no stranger to big branding projects that reflect a shift in focus. Prior to Raketech he worked for PokerStars, joining just as the gaming giant launched its casino and sports betting verticals.

“At the time, PokerStars had launched the casino because they wanted it up quite quickly but the brand was not completely in place so together with the creative manager I built up the PokerStars casino brand,” says Peteri.

“Casino is challenging because all the casino and slot games are already products on their own, but you don’t want to look like everybody else.

“To solve this, we created brand cards so that we could shift and move them to increase or decrease our brand part of it. It was a great way to be able to dial up or dial down the branding depending on the offer or promotion.

“When you get a new NetEnt game you really don’t want to put some sort of red canvas on top of the already great-looking design, but in this way we could sneak the PokerStars brand in at the same time.”

Aesthetics aside, igaming creative and branding professionals are also challenged by terms and conditions imposed by partners in a way that is less of an issue in other industries, says Peteri, who worked on the agency side for a wide range of consumer brands before joining the igaming industry in 2008 at Betfair.

“At Betfair we sponsored Manchester United and Barcelona and obviously you wanted to use that but there were lots of rules and regulations about what we could do and could not do and players could not be used too prominently.

“There are loads of things to think about — it was the same at PokerStars with Ronaldo and Neymar Jr, there were a lot of things that weren’t allowed.”

Since he switched from the operator to the affiliate side, the compliance part of the branding equation has not abated, he says.

“Just recently bet365 went out to all its affiliates and said they wanted to have Ts and Cs on everything. I know many affiliates didn’t listen to this and were shut down but we took it seriously and within a fairly short time we had updated everything.

I definitely think the tone coming from operators recently has gotten a bit harder. They are starting to send a message that Ts and Cs need to be there.”

With a workforce of more than 100 people, Raketech is well-resourced to adapt to these kinds of demands in a way that one-man-band affiliates are not, but Peteri says it is still small enough to have an entrepreneurial vibe.

“Betfair and PokerStars were massive companies and there are lots of procedures and long approval lines. Here it is a bit more entrepreneurial and we are able to move faster, which I do enjoy.

“You have an idea, you can present it to the senior guys and they say yes or no and then we move ahead really quickly, whereas at PokerStars or Betfair you could spend months wondering ‘Are we doing it or not?’”

Peteri’s next challenge is to continue the Raketech rebrand through its many affiliate sites – starting with the main sites and VIP sites and moving down – and given the wide range of markets and products it offers, he says, “there is not a boring day at work, that’s for sure”.

Asked what his biggest challenge is, Peteri jokingly replies that “the days are too short”, but says he enjoys the fact that the industry is constantly changing.

“It evolves a lot and there are loads of new and exciting products. If you look at how slot games looked eight years ago, they are very different today and with mobile and all the different technologies it is sort of like the same product but it never gets boring.

“You do the same thing but it doesn’t feel like you do the same thing. It is a very quick industry and I think there is a fantastic energy in most gaming companies.”

Peteri admits his move into gaming was somewhat unplanned. When he moved to London he knew little about the industry but an acquaintance of his wife was looking for people at Betfair: “I contacted them and before I knew it I was hired as an art director there.”

But he says that the decision to continue in gaming is very much a conscious one: “I have enjoyed it since I started and I have no plans to stop.”

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