An Asian gaming company, Fun88 has undertaken an aggressive brand awareness marketing campaign in an attempt to strengthen its foothold in Europe and on the international market.
Fun88 has previously partnered with English Premier League football clubs such as Burnley F.C. and Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and is currently the Official Shirt Sponsor of Newcastle United F.C. after signing a £150million deal with the club in 2017.
Motor racing sponsorship of Lamborghini dates from 2014 whilst they have been involved in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and have appointed former footballer Robbie Fowler and NBA star Steve Nash as brand ambassadors.
These sponsorship initiatives demonstrate how far Fun88 has come since starting out in 2008 and that they have big plans to extend their reach further.
New customers depositing by card payments can claim a £28 bonus. While other bookies simply match a stake and credit free bets and bonuses automatically, the Fun88 introductory offer seems rather convoluted. Punters must make six bets of at least £10 and only then can contact customer services to request a bonus token. On first glance it appears to be too much like hard work in a world where other bookies are falling over backwards with bigger bonuses or can’t lose first bet offers.
Fun88 also offer football customers a £10 free bet if a game they have bet on has a goal after the 88th minute. It seems a bonus shoe-horned around the company name rather than because it holds much merit.
Acca insurance, if one team lets you down, can be claimed up to £50.
A Casino bonus is available of up to £500, although once again the terms and conditions and instructions for anyone wanting to claim this bonus are incredibly off-putting. You would probably have earned around £500 interest in your stake money before getting to the end of the terms page!
While other companies are throwing money at new and existing customers where the bonuses appear automatically in accounts and everything is easy to understand, Fun88 is a long way behind its rivals.
Equally, there are no ‘request a bet’ initiatives so common now elsewhere and if there are horse racing incentives I couldn’t find them.
The current marketing strategy, being shirt sponsors with Newcastle United FC, is there for all to see as the homepage, or rather landing page, shows three NUFC players and little more, This presumably strengthens the appeal of the website to football supporters inclined to sing ‘Bladen Races’ as they bet, but it will be less seductive to those with allegiances elsewhere. Football is such a tribal entity that one wonders whether more trade is lost than gained with this approach.
Two prominent links take customers from that initial page to Fun88’s Sports betting and Casino platforms.
In Sports, the site appears clean and easy to navigate with ‘Quick Links’ and a full list of 32 sports down a left-hand menu. It is very easy to jump straight to the league, competition or sport of choice to place an ante-post bet whilst the in-play area in the centre of the screen is easy to understand and very straightforward to navigate. Beneath this in-play area there is a ‘Betting Highlights’ block advertising upcoming matches and a ‘Last Minute Bets’ block showing the next events to go in-play so punters can get pre-match bets on quickly.
Although the light blue/dark blue corporate colours are not particularly appealing, it is hard to criticise the structure, layout and ease-of-use of the Sports Betting interface.
Equally the Casino area, providing slots, video poker and the traditional array of table games shows customers what is on offer and you are never more than a couple of clicks from playing the games.
The mobile platforms replicate the website in approach and if anything are more visually appealing.
This is easy to use. Transactions are processed quickly and there is a lot of information on the site to explain the process.
This area appears limited at first glance. A click on the help tab takes customers to a static page which solely provides information on how to deposit and with draw funds or how browsers can be set up to access the site. There is a live chat service which is responded to immediately.
All betting markets are there on the Fun88 website and when you drill down into individual sports it is not easy to get lost. For example the football section lists every major league and competition imaginable and punters are able to also select their favourite bet type to quickly frame their acca in any way possible.
The same structure translates across all sports offered, which range from horse racing, football and cricket to curling, speedway and volleyball.
Betting on all races in the UK and Ireland plus big international fixtures is offered although the recacards are basic with no enhancements. I am not sure how you could make informed selections based on this material.
While rivals have bespoke TV, commentary and radio services, podcast, promotional videos and all kinds of gizmos, Fun88 rely on none of these. The site contains words and odds and that is that.
Horse racing form students are badly let down as there are no helpful previews or news articles and no horse racing form of help.
There is a stats section promoted at the very bottom of the left-hand menu and whilst the information like league tables, tops corers and appearances is useful it is not particularly inspiring and doesn’t really offer anything to a serious punter looking for a useful trend or angle – beyond the obvious
Fun88 In-Play Betting
No complaints here. In-play options are central to the sports area of the site, one click takes you straight into the match market and away you go. Visually other websites have the edge however and the click between the sports home page and markets is punctuated by a loading message that harks back to an earlier technical age. It’s functional, easy to use but not overly impressive.
Fun88 are quite obviously a company with high aspirations. As a simple betting website it is hard to fault it in terms of navigation and ease of use. However, gambling websites have moved on. They have become betting communities where the best provide interactivity, video, advice and punditry. Fun88 has no added extras and therefore the betting experience is a very basic one.
There is a danger that modern gamblers who enjoy the full experience that market leaders now provide will find the Fun88 website a bit boring after a while. Investment into these added value areas could see Fun88 achieve a lot more. Perhaps one less sponsorship deal and recruiting someone with a bit more imagination would be a wise move.
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