Basketball superstar and four-time NBA Championships winner, Tony Parker, has been unveiled as an official brand ambassador for FUN88, the powerhouse Asian sports betting operator.
In this new landmark role for FUN88, Parker will assist in fronting a series of dedicated promotions and thematic activations for one of the most popular and progressive sportsbook operators in Asia. This innovative partnership begins with immediate effect, leveraging long-term scope for collaboration.
Adored and recognized around the world after 18 storied years in the NBA (17 of which were at the San Antonio Spurs franchise, for whom he contested five NBA Finals and won one MVP award in 2007), Parker’s distinguished history, international appeal and commitment to excellence on and off the court make him a hot-hand ambassador for a brand that is setting the pace across the planet’s biggest continent as the leading igaming platform. The 41-year-old now follows in the sizeable strides of Steve Nash and the late, great Kobe Bryant on FUN88 ambassadorial duties.
Parker’s engaging character, peerless speed and skill seamlessly chime with FUN88’s own core values around the responsiveness and agility of its underlying technology and client-facing site, both pre-game and in-play, not to mention its dynamic customer service for fans. His rapier reflexes famously shut out initial media assessments about his lack of stature by the NBA’s towering standards – and this underdog spirit, coupled with an ability to routinely surpass expectations, made this Hall of Famer a ready winner with sporting fan-bases worldwide. As eloquent examples, Parker boasts a 2M following on X (formerly known as Twitter), over 3M followers on Facebook, and 1M fans on Weibo in China.
FUN88 prides itself on its rich heritage in basketball and other international sports, with a roll call of stars and teams that positively separates the company from other brands in the sector. To which end, FUN88 has been highly active in global sports marketing over the past decade, and presently acts as the long-term Asian betting partner of two Premier League clubs in Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United FC while also leveraging another enduring ambassadorship with Spanish footballing legend, Iker Casillas. FUN88 has also enjoyed instrumental associations with the aforementioned Bryant, the renowned OG Dota 2 team in eSports, and cricketing stars Daren Sammy and Dale Steyn.
Now, this Tony Parker announcement sets up the new NBA season perfectly for further ambitious expansion from FUN88, broadening its footprint into more emerging markets where basketball’s popularity and audience share is coming to its zenith (e.g. China, the Philippines and South East Asia countries such as Thailand and Vietnam), with each new territory bolstered by the operator’s enduring mantra to engage, educate and entertain.
A senior spokesperson welcomed FUN88’s latest flagship ambassador: “We’re naturally delighted to have secured further net gains for FUN88’s unrivalled ambassadorial roster by signing Tony. He’s one of the most successful sports personalities his country has ever produced and retains a huge popularity worldwide. We’re confident that fans and FUN88 players alike will enjoy seeing Tony shine a light on the sport he loves, and share in his infectious enthusiasm with an engaged social media community.”
“His famous No. 9 jersey may have been retired, but his legacy and excitement for the game are as strong as ever. Together, we are committed to achieving our goals in the most engaging way possible, raising the bar of the end-user experience and social traction.”
Parker, who becomes FUN88’s third Hall of Fame ambassador from the NBA, added: “I’m thrilled to be following Steve and Kobe’s lead as FUN88’s latest basketball frontman, as we look forward to an exciting renewal of the NBA campaign. They have built a brand here which directly aligns with my playing values of speed and strength, underpinned by a desire to operate as a team and confound the critics. Everyone used to tell me I was too small and too slight to make it in the NBA. That lit a fire in my soul and helped me inspire my teammates. It’s a combination that’s vital to winning any game and also entertaining your audience.”
“With that in mind, I can’t wait to help deliver more premium content, insights and activity to emerging Asian markets, and the basketball fans within them. From China to Thailand, these fans are making it rain! Hopefully, we can find some innovative offers and deeper connections for players to better engage with the sports they love.”
While FUN88 continues to develop its online offerings for football fans around the world, this latest landmark acquisition highlights its commitment to international representation and fostering a sports-friendly environment framed by a responsible igaming culture.
FUN88 has pioneered the gamified betting experience, thanks to a unique interface and personalised customer service that deliver a cohesive player journey from the log-in until the end result. This seamless experience has also ensured record levels of retention and consumer satisfaction amongst its active base.
Imagine Live Triumphs at SIGMA Eurasia Awards 2024, Crowned “Best Live Casino Provider”
Imagine Live, an innovator in the online gaming industry, is excited to announce its victory at the prestigious SIGMA Eurasia Awards 2024. The company has been honored with the esteemed nomination “Best Live Casino Provider,” recognizing its innovative contributions to the live casino gaming experience.
The SIGMA Eurasia Awards celebrate innovation within the gaming industry, bringing together key players and visionaries to acknowledge and commend outstanding achievements. Imagine Live stood out among its peers, demonstrating a commitment to delivering premium live casino services and setting new benchmarks for the industry.
Imagine Live has consistently demonstrated innovation, leveraging the latest technology and a client-centric approach to provide a dynamic live casino environment. The company’s dedication to delivering premium and engaging gaming experiences has garnered widespread acclaim from partners and players.
This accolade follows a series of recent achievements for Imagine Live, highlighting the company’s commitment to innovation in the online gaming sector. As the recipient of the “Best Live Casino Provider” award, Imagine Live solidifies its position in the live casino gaming space.
Saudi’s Savvy Games and Esports Delegation Conducts High-level Visit to Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu
HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation and Vice Chairman of Savvy Games Group (Savvy), and Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy, have this month led a senior business delegation to China. The delegation was accompanied by senior leaders from VSPO, the leading Chinese esports company, including Dino Ying, co-founder and CEO, and Danny Tang, co-founder, CFO and head of strategy.
Visiting Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, the delegation engaged with current and future partners in China’s games and esports industry. The visit further strengthened commercial partnerships between China, the world’s biggest esports market, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it implements Vision 2030 and becomes a leading global hub for gaming and esports.
In 2023, Savvy, wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, invested $265 million into VSPO, becoming the largest international investor. Savvy’s long-term investment is helping VSPO to continue to deliver on its global strategy and accelerate the growth of mobile esports.
The meetings in the visit also covered preparations for the inaugural Esports World Cup (EWC) which will take place in Riyadh in the summer of 2024.
HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Vice Chair of Savvy Games Group, said: “We learned so much from this trip. We will work with VSPO to connect global esports markets and build Saudi Arabia into the hub of the global esports and gaming market. Through long-term investment and capital deployment, we will build a sustainable and profitable global esports ecosystem.”
Brian Ward, CEO of Savvy Games Group, said: “China’s position as the largest esports market, with over 400 million fans and significant industry revenue, underlines the valuable role the Chinese market will play in supporting the continued development of Saudi Arabia’s thriving gaming and esports sector. This visit provided a valuable opportunity to strengthen Savvy’s connection with our partners at VSPO, as well as building our insights and network within one of the world’s foremost games and esports markets.”
Dino Ying, Chair of VSPO, said: “Two years ago, I communicated with Savvy for the first time in a Zoom call. At that time, I realized that although we were from two different markets, our ideas on technological innovation, the future of esports, player ecology and professionalization were very consistent. That’s why we were already thinking about how to cooperate, not whether to cooperate. Now we are more confident because we have a shared vision and a friendship, and we plan to make more innovation for the industry together with Savvy in the future.”
PAGCOR SEEKS GCG APPROVAL TO IMPLEMENT SALARY STEP INCREMENT
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation said it has asked the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) for approval of salary step increments based on employees’ length of service to correct distortions caused by its new Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS).
In a letter to GCG Chairperson Atty. Marius Corpus dated February 22, 2024, PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said the PAGCOR Board of Directors has approved the implementation of step increments but it needs GCG approval.
“Parallel to the thrust of the PAGCOR Board of Directors to prioritize the welfare of the employees, the PAGCOR Board approved the Implementation of Step Increment based on Length of Service, subject to GCG’s review and approval,” he said in the letter.
The PAGCOR chief said the step increment is only the first of many appeals that the agency plans to lodge with the GCG so that PAGCOR employees may enjoy competitive salaries and benefits comparable to other revenue-generating GOCCs.
PAGCOR received its Authority to Implement the CPCS on January 31 this year. However, majority of the employees were dismayed to see that their take-home pay decreased when they received their salaries on the first payday under CPCS on February 15, 2024.
The CPCS also caused distortions in pay scale since all employees were reverted to Pay Step 1 regardless of their years of service. This means that a new employee in a certain position gets the same salary as someone who has been in the same position for 15 years or more.
Chairman Tengco said the Step Increment appeal is only the first of many which the agency plans to lodge with the GCG to remedy the overall decrease in employees’ take home pay, especially for those who occupy the lowest rungs in the organization.
“We hope that the GCG will positively respond to our appeal so that all tenured PAGCOR employees will not feel shortchanged, and instead receive the compensation that they deserve under the bounds of the law,” he added.
A provision under the CPCS implementing guidelines states that “one step increment shall be granted to qualified personnel for every three years of continuous satisfactory service in the present position.”
Records show that as of December 31, 2023, a total of 7,057 PAGCOR personnel or 72.60% of the agency’s workforce have been in service for more than three years in their respective positions.
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