CasinoBeats sits down with Jussi Hietaranta, Marketing Consultant for Finland at Global Gaming, to find out more about the company’s decision to recruit former F1 driver (and Finn) Mika Salo as a Ninja Casino ambassador
What was the thinking behind appointing Mika Salo as a brand ambassador? How popular is he in Finland?
Jussi Hietaranta (pictured, right): “The idea behind appointing Mika Salo is to highlight what Ninja Casino’s USPs are, which are focused around speed.
“Mika is a highly regarded former F1 driver known for going fast, and at Ninja Casino we pride ourselves on the speed of our registration and cash-out functions. Mika is extremely popular in Finland, hosting his own racing show on Finnish TV called Virittäjät and is still involved with F1 by heading the motor racing programme, SMP Racing.
“He is a very active personality in Finland, which is why we targeted him as a brand ambassador. It would have been very easy to approach a well-known generic sporting figure, but instead we’ve taken a tailored approach to identify someone who would appeal to the Finnish market.”
Tell us about his role as ambassador. How will he be helping to promote Ninja casino in Finland?
“Mika will be our ambassador for both online and offline channels for Ninja Casino. As well as being involved in online promotions, he is also the face of Ninja Casino’s television advertising campaign, with our first advert already live.
“The former F1 driver will also be key in giving exclusive experiences to customers, such as monthly Facebook live broadcasts in which customers can interact with Mika and ask questions.”
“Ninja Casino is still a relatively young name in Finland and we want our brand to grow with the right message“
What’s the value in appointing a brand ambassador? How do you measure the return on investment, if you can?
“It is extremely difficult to measure the return of investment, however for us it is about creating customer engagement and raising brand awareness.
“Ninja Casino is still a relatively young name in Finland and we want our brand to grow with the right message. We feel that Mika is the perfect fit, as not only is he associated with speed, but he is also renowned as a world-class sportsman capable of delivering a quality performance.”
How does Salo fit into your marketing strategy?
“Mika was identified by Ninja Casino for two main reasons. Firstly, to bring genuine credibility to the brand – we don’t want to be seen as a novel idea or just as an extension of an operator with an online casino option, but rather as a disruptive casino who stands out for reasons other than an attractive new member bonus.
“Another reason is our main USP, which as mentioned is the speed of our registration and cash out. It made sense to have such a high-profile Finn to be the face of a fast-paced casino, given his reputation as an experienced motor racing driver.”
What other marketing initiatives do you have planned?
“With Mika, we plan for him to be heavily engaged with fans through a variety of methods. In addition to the monthly Facebook live chats as previously mentioned, Ninja Casino customers will also have access to exclusive content from Mika, plus there’s the potential to win a VIP F1 trip with Mika himself.
“This activity isn’t based on gimmicks or unrewarding bonuses that only benefit short-term sign-ups. We want to bring genuine value to our customers and working with Mika is a key part of our current marketing plan.
“Anything we do will tie into our key message, which is that Ninja Casino offers a quick and efficient gaming experience.”