Synergy specialist: Gavin Moore on keeping BC's growth on track

By Dan Kleiner


  • Article summary

In the final part of our series exploring the inner workings of Better Collective, senior VP of group acquisition marketing Gavin Moore explains why paid media has been so successful and the importance of talent in unlocking synergies.

If you had to pick two pillars of the business currently driving Better Collective forward, it would likely be acquisitions and paid media. Not quite as snappy as ‘death and taxes’, but for the Copenhagen-based affiliate, both are working together to keep the juggernaut moving.

And a man who’s at the heart of both pillars at Better Collective is Gavin Moore, senior vice president of group acquisition marketing.

Moore heads up both the paid media division and the ad tech division for the affiliate, with the former now becoming a strong money maker. In the company’s most recent financial report, paid media recorded €24.6m in revenue for Q223, a 37% growth from the same period last year.

In context

Yet, the work with the ad tech team goes largely under the radar in the company’s public briefings. One of the most exciting developments that Moore is leading on the ad tech team is its BetSense Ads initiative with an expected Q3/Q4 launch.


“We’ve developed a script which can analyse the content on a page to form a word cloud,” said the senior VP of group acquisition marketing. “On the back of that it’s then able to identify if the subject is for example about the Premier League in general or a match for Manchester City. Then we’re able to have the next Manchester City odds for the match and make it highly contextual within the page.” Another of Better Collective’s strategies is its media partnerships with traditional outlets., Nigerian site Punch and Wirtualna Polska are just three deals Better Collective has announced in 2023, following 2022 deals with the New York Post and Chicago Tribune.

According to Moore, these media partnerships are an area that the company “will continue to invest in”. But he’s also clear in stating that “whenever Google makes changes, the winner generally is paid media because they want to make the changes in order to make more money.” Which also means that more advertising slots are available to be sold.

"Whenever Google makes changes, the winner generally is paid media"
Gavin moore, Better collective

While the UK White Paper steered clear of debating gambling companies publishing content with traditional outlets, there is always the risk that other countries and regulators may try and stop it.

The Guardian decided to censor itself from all forms of gambling advertising in June, whilst the Independent a month later announced a content deal with Group. But Moore isn’t worried about the Great Britain Gambling Commission, or any other regulator, derailing Better Collective’s plans.

A wider audience

He argues that paid media and media partnerships are good for the industry. Especially when they come from companies like Better Collective “who only work with regulated operators”.

“We also work with Mindway AI on the safer gambling side of things,” Moore adds. “I think for the user it’s a much safer experience and a more knowledgeable experience to come to our sites because we have high compliance standards.”

But why are these paid media partnerships working so well for the affiliate? Well, according to Moore it’s because “you can get more than just commercial content out there”. It’s also about educational content, which he argues can reach a wider audience.

“I think it’s also good for users to go through the whole decision-making process with this kind of information, so that they’re tooled up to be able to [gamble] in the best possible manner.”

Pooling talent

As part of his role, Moore also works with several acquired teams and assets. In what Better Collective looks for in an acquisition target he reveals that it’s as much about the people being taken on as well as the products.

“When we find a target candidate it’s because we fundamentally believe they have a good product or offering and then we look very closely at the people as well.”

"[Atemi brought] 40 employees steeped heavily in the Google Ads and PPC area"
Gavin Moore, better collective

“Do these people have a good track record?” Moore adds. “Can they fit into Better Collective? Do they have similar values? Another big thing is revenue synergies, which is probably the first thing we would look at.”

One key factor that Better Collective considers when it acquires companies is respecting the asset. “We respect the business and we would like them to run in a more optimal way, giving them access to skilled people within Better Collective,” said Moore. “We can help them grow further within the group.”

The acquisition of Atemi Group for £40m in 2020 was a purchase identified and led by Moore. It gave the affiliate “40 employees steeped heavily in the Google Ads and PPC area”. The influx of expertise from the acquisition was complimentary for Better Collective according to Moore.

“These guys are really fundamental to what we do today in the paid media division and came highly skilled with a complimentary skillset”.

The two ways that Moore hires are either from outside the industry or through acquisitions like with Atemi. On the former, the senior VP of group acquisition marketing believes that “it’s always good to get some fresh eyes on the way we do things to see if we can optimise elements.”

“By acquiring, you get the fantastic experience as well as the igaming skillset already integrated into a successful business.”

The great escape

Moore himself only joined after a startup he worked for as the CMO failed. Two investors in the failed venture were Jesper Søgaard and Christian Kirk Rasmussen.

“The day that we found out that there was no runway left for the startup, Jesper called me ten mins after and offered to come in and discuss a position at Better Collective.”

Moore went from a smaller company trying to sell eBooks from Scandinavian authors to the UK and American markets to working in sports igaming. “Definitely a landing on your feet, I guess you could say,” he laughs.

The company’s intent on becoming the “leading digital sports media group” has meant that its hiring parameters have also evolved. In essence, Better Collective is now looking for a different skillset from before.

“We need people with media experience,” Moore admits. “We’re just trying to make the pool a little bit bigger.”

"The day we found out that there was no runway left for the startup [where I was CMO], Jesper called me 10 minutes later and offered to discuss a position"
Gavin moore, better collective

The strategy has also changed the type of partnerships the affiliate is building. “We’re trying to make our partners different from the standard affiliate operator ones where it’s all about lead generation.”

He goes on to explain that paid media partnerships are a “little bit looser” and the company knows there are elements on the performance marketing side that it can apply to sports media. “We’re aiming for a real sweet spot between the kind of synergy between the two sides of the business.”

Watching brief

Will Better Collective be tempted to go a step further than just partnerships with large sports media outlets? Nothing is on the cards, but Moore admits that “you can never say never, right?”

“It all depends on how the partnership goes,” he expands. “If there comes a day where something makes sense then we would never rule it out. But we go into it thinking this is a media partnership, we’re very happy to do this and let’s grow together.”

“It’s one of those things where we’re keen to collaborate, I think we can help them and they’re great for the strategy we’re on.”

So while there are no plans for the affiliate to purchase any of the named sports media partners it now works with, it would be fair to say all bets are off for the future. For now, though, expect more paid media partnerships to follow.

Back to The Top