Competition uptake tips Statewest into new league

STATEWEST Credit Society’s online Aussie Rules football tipping competition is beginning to pay dividends for more than just the tipsters.

The society’s ‘Fingertip Footy’ is now in its fourth season and, after a slow flow-on effect initially, many of the competition’s 7,000 players are now doing their banking online.

The tipping competition is open to Statewest members and non-members.

It is also possible for existing groups of tipsters to join Statewest’s competition and use the Statewest infrastructure to simultaneously play their own private competition.

In fact, nearly 2,800 of the competition’s 7,000 tipsters are playing as a part of another group.

All tipsters have the option of allowing Statewest to send them emailed offers or deals, and if the society does a direct mail-out to its normal members, non-member tipsters are also sent an email. In an effort to cut its mailing costs, Statewest is trying to encourage its existing members to give the society their email addresses so they too can receive mail electronically.

According to Statewest senior manager of retail business, Tony Romano, the society receives 40 to 50 online applications for loans or membership each month.

“It was probably true to say that in the first couple of years people were still getting used to going online, but certainly the past two years have been very good,” Mr Romano said.

Consumers in general are becoming more comfortable about using the Internet for various tasks, Mr Romano suggested. In particular, as people become familiar with online footy tipping – an enjoyable experience with the prospect of a reward at the end of the football season – their experience helps to further break down barriers to using the Internet for other purposes.

As well as attracting business, Mr Romano said Statewest’s tipping competition had improved awareness of the society’s brand in the broader community.

“At this stage the branding has been exceptionally successful,” he said.

“One of our aims was to get our brand up in the areas where we hadn’t yet reached through traditional advertising, and we’ve achieved that. If you walk around the place, people know we’re the crowd that does the Fingertip Footy.”

Despite the introduction of rival competitions by, among others, BankWest and the AFL, Statewest’s player numbers have remained stable. Indeed, it is likely many people are participating in more than one competition.

The case can also be made that Fingertip Footy has a social benefit.

“First thing Monday morning, all the talk is about how people went in the footy tipping, which is fantastic for creating a very good positive culture in staff interactions, and I think a by-product of all this is that we’ve been able to enhance that,” Mr Romano said.

“Footy tipping is part of the culture here, and we’ve created a tool to keep that tradition and culture prominent in the workplace during the footy season, which is good for the organisation.”

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