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In The Zone podcast breaks 1 million views with star-studded Euro 2024 campaign

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Euro 2024 is in full swing, with every country having played at least one group game – but it’s not just the teams on the pitch that are off to a flying start.

Gambling Zone podcast In The Zone has smashed the one million views barrier on its overall Euro 2024 campaign – and the group stage has only just begun. 

Prior to last Friday’s big kick-off, which saw hosts Germany thrash Scotland 5-1, In The Zone live streamed its Euro 2024 Preview episode on Wednesday 12 June. 

Host Manish Bhasin was joined by football royalty in the shape of ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle, retired Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann, and world-renowned football journalist Guillem Balague.

The panel delved into the major talking points ahead of the finals, including England’s chances of landing a major title for the first time since 1966.

The experts also ran the rule over England’s strongest competitors and revealed their predictions for eventual champions, tournament dark horses and golden boot winner.

The podcast has proven hugely popular on X, with the original live stream racking up more than 8,000 live viewers and 72,800 organic views since. Even Manish Bhasin’s live stream preview amassed 65,000 views on the platform formerly known as Twitter. 

The episode attracted an additional 25,000 views on YouTube, while bitesize shorts generated a further 13,000 in organic views on the platform. 

The figures for In The Zone’s overall Euro 2024 campaign are equally impressive, with 700,000 views on X and counting, and more than 350,000 views on Facebook.

“We are dedicated to bringing viewers top-quality content during this festival of European international football,” said Gambling Zone senior editor Michael Vella. 

“Every Euro 2024 match has offered incredible entertainment value so far, and we are determined to match that with our online video and podcast content. 

“Our Euro 2024 campaign has clearly struck a chord with viewers and listeners and we are excited to reward our loyal following as the tournament develops. 

“We are thrilled to partner with some of the biggest personalities in football and are grateful they have chosen to share their thoughts with us In The Zone.” 

The podcast, which is co-produced by Press Box PR and recorded by Twenty3, is primed to produce plenty more content as the tournament unfolds.

In The Zone launched last year as part of a collaboration between Gambling Zone and Press Box PR, with host Manish Bhasin interviewing prominent athletes and sporting celebrities. 

Press Box PR head of video Jack Watson said: “Sports fans consume hundreds of pieces of content every day and we’ve used our journalistic skills to ensure the editorial and production quality of In The Zone stands out from the crowd during Euro 2024.

“The latest viewing figures are proof that the series succeeds on multiple channels,” he added. 

Every episode of In The Zone is listened to by an average of 1.5 million people, while the Gambling Zone website receives around 100,000 visits per month.

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Aviatrix finds new home in Brazil with Casa de Apostas

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 Aviatrix, the award-winning crash game, continues to expand its following in Brazil, this time by partnering with one of the country’s most respected operators, Casa de Apostas.

Casa de Apostas was one of the first online betting platforms in Brazil. It was the first to sponsor major clubs in the country and today it is the only one in its segment to name two World Cup Arenas: Casa de Apostas Arena Fonte Nova – Salvador / BA; and Casa de Apostas Arena das Dunas – Natal / RN. And now it offers its players access to Aviatrix.

The innovative crash game is not only hugely popular in Brazil, but also has a strong track record appealing to players worldwide.

Gabriela Novello, Head of Business Development LATAM at Aviatrix, said: “Casa de Apostas is an operator whose serious trajectory in the national market we have been following closely. We are confident that with Aviatrix’s partnership, we can deliver significant value to Betting House players through one of the most popular online casino games of the moment.”

Hans Schleier, COO at Casa de Apostas, added: “We want the best for our players, and that means adding the most exciting new games on the market. Aviatrix absolutely fits into that category. The game is already growing rapidly in Brazil and our players have been requesting it. It’s been a pleasure working with the Aviatrix team to bring this world-class title to our platform.”

Aviatrix works tirelessly to deliver the very best experience to players across Brazil. This included the recent launch of a new game splash screen to celebrate the São João festival.

 

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First-ever Olympic Esports Games to take place in 2025; massive opportunity for Indian esports

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Following the IOC’s partnership with the NOC of Saudi Arabia to host the inaugural Olympic Esports Games, India’s growing esports sector has an opportunity to prove its mettle on the international stage and flourish

In a historic move, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that the inaugural Olympic Esports Games will take place in Saudi Arabia in 2025. This decision follows the recent proposal by the IOC’s Executive Board and will be presented at the IOC Session ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The IOC has entered a 12-year partnership with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Saudi Arabia to host the Olympic Esports Games. As per the official announcement, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Minister of Sport and President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic Committee remarked, “The world is invited to join us in 2025 and celebrate this moment together.”

Indian esports, already on the rise, stands to gain significantly from this development. Following a bronze medal win in DOTA 2 at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and competing in five titles at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, India’s esports scene is on track for further growth.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the groundbreaking development, Akshat Rathee, Co-founder and MD of NODWIN Gaming, said, “NODWIN Gaming is thrilled that esports has earned its place in the Olympics with its own standalone event, akin to the Summer, Winter, and Paralympics. This recognition allows countries to develop independent esports programs. Together with our partners in the GEF and the EWC, NODWIN Gaming is eager to build esports in our core growth markets, seizing this opportunity for hope and glory.”

The IOC launched its first esports pilot, the Olympic Virtual Series, in 2021 followed by the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June 2023. This event brought together over 130 players from around the world, competing in 10 mixed-gender categories, attracting over 500,000 unique participants and six million views, with 75% of the audience aged 13 to 34.

“The IOC’s embrace of the Olympic Esports Games honors the dedication and skill of millions of gamers worldwide. It goes beyond just competition; it elevates esports to a global platform, encouraging international collaboration and potentially ushering in a new generation of athletes. This initiative truly is a landmark moment for esports, bringing it the global recognition it has long earned. The inclusion of esports in the Olympic movement demonstrates its growing influence and cements its place in the future of sports,” commented Roby John, CEO and Co-founder at SuperGaming.

The introduction of the Olympic Esports Games is set to further enhance the credibility of esports in India, establishing it as a viable sport and career option.

“This recognition will further legitimize esports as a career option, more parents will now support their children in pursuing careers in this field, elevating the professional landscape of competitive gaming. We are proud to support the growth of esports in India, giving our players the chance to shine on this prestigious international platform,” further.

With the official announcement of the Olympic Esports Games, work will now begin on selecting the host city and venue, determining the event’s timing, selecting titles, and establishing the qualification process for players. The IOC has emphasized collaboration with International Federations already engaged in e-sports and National Olympic Committees that include esports in their activities.

While the titles for the Olympic Esports Games have not been officially announced, the potential inclusion of games across diverse platforms is expected to stimulate growth in India’s gaming industry. This could lead to a rise in PC and console gaming, diversifying India’s predominantly mobile gaming market as players aim to represent their nation at the largest international multi-sport event.

“We are absolutely elated by the announcement of the Olympic Esports Games which is being hosted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This marks a monumental step for the industry and all its stakeholders. The Indian esports sector is on an upward trajectory and this will further empower it. Esports being integrated under the banner of the pinnacle of sports events in the world will bring further legitimacy to this form of sport and encourage a new generation of esports talent to rise from the country. We’re excited and look forward to extending our support to the esports community of India so they make a mark at the global event!” said Vishal Parekh, COO, CyberPowerPC India.

Additionally, the IOC will establish a dedicated structure for the Olympic Esports Games, distinct from the traditional Olympic Games model, to address the unique aspects of esports financing and organization.

 

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Legendary skater and entrepreneur to keynote at SBC Summit

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Renowned professional skateboarder turned entrepreneur and iconic video game legend Tony Hawk is slated to deliver a keynote address to 25,000 attendees, at the upcoming SBC Summit.

The keynote titled: “Tony Hawk – What Keeps The Wheels Turning on a Global Brand” is scheduled to open the second core day of the event, which is taking place at the Feira Internacional de Lisboa between the 24th and 26th of September. The highly anticipated keynote will occur on the Super Stage, located in the MEO Arena.

Hawk will offer delegates an in-depth overview of his illustrious career, covering his introduction to the professional sports arena as a teenager, his landmark partnership with Activision game studios, and the founding of his iconic sporting brands. He will also share strategies for maintaining relevance through brand reinvention, providing insights into his approach to sustaining success and innovation over the years.

In anticipation of his upcoming address, Hawk expressed: “I am excited to be headlining SBC Summit in Lisbon this September. Although the worlds of skateboarding and gambling might seem very different, I believe many parallels and lessons can be very relatable to companies in this industry.

“Whether it is forming long-lasting partnerships, establishing a successful and recognisable brand or maintaining relevance in a predominantly digital world, my story can provide valuable insights for all those attending.”

Born in the Golden State of California on May 12, 1968, Tony Hawk received his first skateboard, a blue fibreglass Bahne, from his brother at the age of nine. By the age of 11, Hawk began entering local skateboarding competitions, and in 1982, at just 14 years old, he officially became a professional skater. He signed with the Powell Peralta professional team and starred in the famous Bones Brigade videos, marking the beginning of his illustrious sporting career.

The subsequent 23 years, saw Hawk win 73 competitive titles, including being named the ‘National Skateboard Association (NSA) Vert Champion’ for 12 consecutive years and earning 16 “X Games” medals. Hawk further cemented himself as an innovator of the sport by inventing more than 80 unique skateboarding tricks. Among these tricks are the ollie-to-Indy, the gymnast plant, the frontside 540-rodeo flip, and the Saran wrap.

In one of skateboarding’s defining moments, Hawk executed a 900 twist (2 1/2 turns) at the 1999 X Games, a feat that had never been performed before. In 2003, Tony officially retired from competitive skating.

Away from the deck, Hawk continued to grow the sport with a variety of successful partnerships and branding deals. In 1992, Tony founded Birdhouse Skateboards (originally Birdhouse Projects) with ex-Powell Peralta professional skateboarder Per Welinder. In 1998, Hawk and his family created Hawk Clothing, a line of children’s skate apparel, and in 1999, he founded the media company 900 Films. In 2002, he established The Skatepark Project (formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation), a nonprofit skateboarding organisation that helps communities build public skate parks for youth in underserved communities.

Tony Hawk’s most successful partnership came in 1999 when he teamed up with global gaming giant Activision to release Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Activision went on to release 16 more video games under the ‘Tony Hawk’ name and reported a staggering $1 billion in sales, making it one of the most successful video game franchises of all timeBorn in the Golden State of California on May 12, 1968, Tony Hawk received his first skateboard, a blue fibreglass Bahne, from his brother at the age of nine. By the age of 11, Hawk began entering local skateboarding competitions, and in 1982, at just 14 years old, he officially became a professional skater. He signed with the Powell Peralta professional team and starred in the famous Bones Brigade videos, marking the beginning of his illustrious sporting career.

The subsequent 23 years, saw Hawk win 73 competitive titles, including being named the ‘National Skateboard Association (NSA) Vert Champion’ for 12 consecutive years and earning 16 “X Games” medals. Hawk further cemented himself as an innovator of the sport by inventing more than 80 unique skateboarding tricks. Among these tricks are the ollie-to-Indy, the gymnast plant, the frontside 540-rodeo flip, and the Saran wrap.

In one of skateboarding’s defining moments, Hawk executed a 900 twist (2 1/2 turns) at the 1999 X Games, a feat that had never been performed before. In 2003, Tony officially retired from competitive skating.

Away from the deck, Hawk continued to grow the sport with a variety of successful partnerships and branding deals. In 1992, Tony founded Birdhouse Skateboards (originally Birdhouse Projects) with ex-Powell Peralta professional skateboarder Per Welinder. In 1998, Hawk and his family created Hawk Clothing, a line of children’s skate apparel, and in 1999, he founded the media company 900 Films. In 2002, he established The Skatepark Project (formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation), a nonprofit skateboarding organisation that helps communities build public skate parks for youth in underserved communities.

Tony Hawk’s most successful partnership came in 1999 when he teamed up with global gaming giant Activision to release Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Activision went on to release 16 more video games under the ‘Tony Hawk’ name and reported a staggering $1 billion in sales, making it one of the most successful video game franchises of all time

Rasmus Sojmark, CEO & Founder of SBC added: “Tony Hawk is undoubtedly one of the most iconic athletes of the 20th century. Not only did Tony revolutionise the world of skateboarding, but through strong branding, incredible athleticism, and genre-defining video games, he brought skateboarding into mainstream pop culture.

“There are certainly many lessons to be learned from this legend, and I am extremely excited to witness Tony’s headline keynote on the Super Stage.”

Operators and affiliates can apply for free passes to the event. Operators can visit here, while affiliates are urged to click here.

The wider industry can secure their spot at the upcoming SBC Summit with a special offer granting access to all three core days of the event, including the exhibition floor, conference content, and evening networking parties, all for the discounted price of just €300.

 

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