Kaizen Gaming, which is operating its Betano brand in Ontario, is making NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo its first-ever global brand ambassador, the operator announced on Monday.
The partnership will include branded content, events, and community outreach work throughout Betano’s markets. The operator is live with its various brands in a dozen different countries around the world, including Antetokounmpo’s native country of Greece.
Kaizen Gaming believes The Greek Freak is a natural fit alongside its brands as they share a common Greek heritage.
“We could not have asked for a better global brand ambassador for our brand Betano. Besides being the best active basketball player in the world, Giannis embodies all that we value at Kaizen Gaming, and that is hard work, commitment, continuous improvement and above all, humility. While our fields might be different, we see in him all that we stand for and aim our brand and our company to be, a top international player with both feet on the ground”, said George Daskalakis, Co-Founder and CEO, Kaizen Gaming, in the release.
Antetokounmpo is a two-time MVP and his Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA title in 2021. He’s arguably the most recognized name in basketball besides LeBron James and Steph Curry, and at just 28 years of age, still has the prime years of his career ahead of him.
“I take my endorsements seriously and always aim for partnerships that mean something to me,” he said in the release. “In Betano I have found a great fit, not only in our shared passion for sports but also in our drive and dedication for continuous improvement.”
Kaizen Gaming was the winner of the 2022 Southern European Operator of the Year Award at the recent SBC Summit in Barcelona, as well as a recipient of several EGR Operator Awards, including Mobile Operator of the Year and Football Betting Operator of the Year. It is licensed with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and iGaming Ontario under its Betano brand, which launched in November of last year with online sports betting and iCasino platforms.
The operator hired veteran iGaming executive Kris Abbott, formerly of Coolbet Canada, as its country manager for Canadian operations last September.
“Basketball has been our most heavily bet sport to this point in Ontario,” Abbott told Canada Sports Betting. “More than hockey and both Euro and American football. Particularly we’ve seen a boom in basketball live betting.”
Abbott explained that he’s waiting for further details on how the new partnership can be leveraged both here in Canada and around the world.
“Our parent company is in Athens, so the synergies with Giannis are natural,” he said.
In a previous conversation with Canada Sports Betting, Abbott stated that launching Betano in Ontario is hopefully just the first step in the company’s Canadian plans. If other provinces embrace private operators, like Ontario, Betano will be interested in exploring the opportunities.
“Every license that becomes available in Canada, we’ll be knocking on the door to get set up in that jurisdiction,” Abbott said.
Kaizen Gaming currently sponsors, through its brands Betano and Stoiximan, some of Europe’s and Latin America’s top football teams, including FC Porto, Sporting CP and SL Benfica in Portugal, Olympiacos FC, Panathinaikos FC and PAOK FC in Greece, as well as Atletico Mineiro and Fluminense in Brazil, among others.
Betano is a popular brand with soccer bettors and it’s also known for its comprehensive and elaborate iCasino offerings.