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Game Changers ISSUE #29

POWERFUL PETROS! GC speaks exclusively to Petros Archontides


GAME CHANGERS

DIRECTORY O1

Note from the editor

O2

Petros Archonitides

O3

Richard Bartlett

O4 O5

View from the top. 03

NovoFin. 04-06

Centroid Solutions DMCC. 07-09

Andrea Stefani Playbell & CO. 10-11

Helen Astaniou TIO Markets. 12-13

O6

Viktoria Soltesz

O7

Global Forex Awards 2020

O8 O9

PSP Angels. 14-15

Retail. 16-19

Woman of the year 20

Speakers Corner Anonymous. 21-22

1O

GC: LUXURY

11

GC: FEMME

12

GC: HOMME

13

GC: EAT & DRINK

14

40-43

15

24-27

28-32

33-35

GIN GARDEN. 36-37

GC:FITNESS

GC:SPORTS 44-45


VIEW FROM THE TOP

Hello Everyone! As we move with great haste into autumn, I think most of us will be happy to close the door on the year. Many of us are feeling the fatigue from a weird year (to say the least), where we have not been able to enjoy our usual holiday, and having life generally disrupted. This month we have as the cover star and good friend of mine Petros Archontides, the founder of NovoFin. Petros has always been great to deal with on a professional level, with a huge knowledge and network to get things working at optum levels in your finances personally and for your brand. We were also incredibly happy to win our first award for Game Changers. Getting respect from one’s peers is always nice, so thanks to all who voted for us. We are still continuing the evolution of Game Changers Magazine, with an ever improving lifestyle section. A lot of this is done via people mailing in for places to eat and visit, so thanks for everyone’s positive feedback and input. Enjoy the issue!

Paul ORFORD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Game Changers


NovoFin PETROS ARCHONITIDES Founder and Owner of NovoFin

sound very odd, however a name is a very personal thing to a brands image, and thought of many different names. I woke up at 5am with the name NovoFin. I felt that the name encapsulates the business well, with novo being Latin for new, where we will do things different than say the traditional approach that has happened in consultancy, and the fin part of the title to cover the financial area that we specialise in. Currently everyone says they are embracing fintech, however our industry has not really used it to its full capabilities. Whether this is due to cost, fear of something new or the amount of time, we categorically believe that the latest financial technology can give us the best picture of a client’s current situation, and more importantly how we can improve it.

Petros Archonitides Founder and Owner of NovoFin

Q Lets start at the beginning, how did you get into this industry. Why did you become an accountant? I started studying accountancy and finance what seems like a long time ago, back in 2004 where I went on to study and work in Greece. I returned to Cyprus in 2008, where I took a job in an international firm where I continued to study for several years, becoming a certified auditor after several years of study. One thing I have always liked doing is continually working on both my personal and professional growth, whether it would be extra examinations and networking events, or on a personal level working on myself where I can become a more rounded human being. Q Why did you start NovoFin? It was really a natural progression for me professionally, as I am always looking to grow and improve myself, so I felt this was the best test possible. Strangely enough, one of the hardest parts in the days before you start is choosing a name. Now this may

GAME CHANGERS Issue #29

Now we live in the age of data, and on a personal level I feel that the industry really has not embraced it to offer a complete picture for their clients. This is becoming absolutely critical for clients, as it can really give them a forensic look at their business or personal finances so they can plan ahead. One thing I have always prided myself on, is giving that extra to a client where they have the complete picture, as any successful business needs to know what is ahead of them financially.

Q For those out there looking to go out on their own, whats it like on day one of when you start a business? I was tremendously excited about the opening as I really felt that it was professionally the natural thing for me to do. Moreover, I have the confidence to believe in myself that this will be a success, so where there are no doubts or second thoughts, you feel that is the right thing to do. I think that my confidence came from having that huge amount of experience, which naturally gives you that self confidence to bring your vision to life. An important part to this is the team that I work with, also gives me a huge amount of confidence and self assurance, knowing that we can make NovoFin to become one of the established names in this country within the next several years.


Q We do have a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs reading Game Changers Magazine. What advice would you give them for their start up? The absolute key before you begin your startup is to check if you are physically and mentally strong. These are two factors that are always looked over when you look to start a new venture. This may seem weird why i say this, but let me explain with an example. You are going to have to work incredibly hard to get your project off the ground. This means putting in long days and there will be times when you are sleep deprived, so you have to be physically strong to push through on the days when you feel like having that extra 30 minutes sleep. Your mentality also plays an equal part in this, as I can guarantee you that you could have the greatest plan in the world, however events will not always follow this. You have to be strong mentally knowing how to adapt to this, and the days where you get some bad news, make sure it does not ruin your day so you can keep pressing ahead. Moreover, understand that everything goes in a cycle. There will be times where you are at the top and you are enjoying the benefits of this, always remember what got you there, and never settle, so hopefully you can stay there longer. Also there will be times when things do go slightly sideways, again just remember the focus and work ethic that got you to the top before. I think that having very strong personal targets also ensures that you will have success. Just because you are your own boss, you have to push yourself harder than any line manager you have had before. By having the utmost discipline will keep you ahead of the game. You may also hear that successful people are lucky or they have had help from others, this may be true in a very small percentage, however the vast majority of people who invest in themselves will also increase the chances of success. If you can work hard, keep the positive momentum up and keep moving onwards In addition you should ensure that you are surrounded with reliable people and invest in them, listen to what they have to say and be open to explore new ideas.


Q What makes NovoFin different? If I am looking for a new service provider / audit firm, why, should I choose you? I would like to think that the core strength of NovoFin, is the team that we have here really makes a difference, and our values which are embedded in the corporate character of NovoFin. Each is very strong in their field and compliments each department very well. Although it is often said as just a cliche, I have always liked to make sure my clients get the personal touch, and hopefully I have instilled this in my colleagues. A client will always remember how you made them feel with regards to service, let’s give them a good experience! As we discussed before, the way we use cutting edge technology to give us a high level of quantitative and qualitative data for our clients will also help them in their future. By making sure that not only did we have this groundbreaking technology, our team members were also very well trained in how to use it, and more importantly when to use it, to give the bespoke service we are looking to offer. I don’t see NovoFin as a competitor of other firms, we are focusing on what we do, and look to build on it.

Q Is there a specific type of client at NovoFin? Our clients are people we share a common vision and core values on a way of conducting business and human relationships. We have a mixture from all types of backgrounds. NovoFin reflects the cosmopolitan background of clients similar to what Cyprus has become. We have everyone from owners of shipping companies, High Net worth clients, Forex, international clients along with local business owners. Over the past 20 years Cyprus as a financial centre has become incredibly diverse in the profile of people who have come to live here, open a business here, or run their international business here. I have been very fortunate to develop a network which reflects this very well. We have specific specialists who deal with industry specific clients, so we can ensure the most relevant service is applied to the client. If you take a broad brush approach to your clients you become a generalist, which is not something I had in mind when I began NovoFin. Q What do you think the next 5 years have instore for Cyprus? It is hard to make predictions for the future especially now that there is such uncertainty around Covid-19, as well as the pressure in the business environment of Cyprus. In relation to Covid-19 it is fair to say that there will be a tough couple of years ahead for those that are in the hospitality industry, as a country we were very well prepared for it compared to other countries, however we cannot deny that the Cyprus economy has been affected by this. At the same time there is a pressure on the business environment of Cyprus. However, I remain positive since the foundations are strong, we have had many hard situations in the past that we have managed to overcome. Cyprus despite the difficulties remains an attractive destination with significant tax benefits as well as financial infrastructure.. From an investment perspective, there are going to be some great opportunities out there for those who are liquid, nevertheless investors should be patient and careful so they will choose the most suitable investment that will maximise their return based of course on their risk appetite.As a firm we are ready to discuss and assist businesses on their current and future steps. Email: petros@novofin.com.cy Website: www.novofin.com.cy


Centroid Solutions DMCC RICHARD BARTLETT Head of Business Development at Centroid Solutions DMCC

Q Since we last spoke, I have seen in the media that you have had some big wins signing well-known brands to Centroid. How does this help your visibility? Centroid Solutions as a brand has been in the market for quite some time now as a pure risk management company, however, since the launch of our new execution and aggregation technology at the start of 2019, it is great to start getting exposure for this side of the business too with some of the bigger players in the market especially. It demonstrates to existing and potential clients that the main players in the sector trust us and are happy to be associated with us. This can only be a positive and there will be more to come in the near future. Q When a bigger brand takes on your product, is the decision-making process longer? In most cases the larger the entity is, there are invariably more people involved in any key decisions, so for sure this does result in a lengthier decision process compared to a smaller operation. In the case where a larger firm is actively looking to add to their technology setup, or, is perhaps not happy with their incumbent provider, the decision-making time will be drastically shorter as long as you can clearly demonstrate the advantages and performance of your product, which thankfully at Centroid we are able to do easily. Q One area that has gone under the radar is your exposure in Asia. How does it compare to Europe regarding volumes? Our exposure in Asia is certainly growing and it is an area we are very focussed on pushing into a lot more heavily. In Asia, as I see it the volumes are very strong overall with many brokers on the ground that are not necessarily recognisable names globally, but have significant volumes due to the huge popularity of FX Trading in APAC as a whole. This is why we are so keen to expand on our client base and awareness in the region. We did have several business trips planned to Asia but with the recent Covid-19 restrictions etc we have not been able to get on the ground and physically meet with all our clients and prospects, as we normally prefer to do.

Richard Bartlett Head of Business Development at Centroid Solutions DMCC

Q What are the differences in business culture? I have found often that Asian based businesses are far more ready to consider and review new technology even if they feel their existing tech is doing a good job. If there are clear benefits to a new technology, I also find they are more willing to make the change and the decision-making process is usually swift compared to many European based operations. One of the many reasons our technology is so popular in Asia, is the high level of automation that can be achieved. This is something that is definitely more favoured in Asia overall compared to Europe currently. Having said that, as the message is becoming clearer that intelligent automated systems can seriously improve risk adjusted returns compared to more traditional and manually focussed processes, the demand for these

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types of advanced systems, such as we offer at Centroid, is increasing across Europe. Q How do your solutions help clients in this often diverse market? Our technology is all in-house designed and produced and we have a huge amount of experience and knowledge on both the technology, risk and physical trading side of the business throughout our development and technical engineering teams. This has allowed us to build a full technology suite that has no limitations and can be made to work seamlessly with any type of trading operation, under any trading conditions, be it, an FX Broker, LP, Hedge Fund or small bank etc. Another way our service assists our clients to tackle diverse market conditions, is down to our quant-based risk management system that can be tailored to each individual client’s needs. We are also able to automate the entire execution, hedging and risk management processes for our customers. Q Has the lack of international travel hindered you, or has your service acted as the best advertisement you have? As we are still able to demonstrate the strengths and scale of our various offerings via on-line demonstrations and we are still able to reach new and existing people via conference calls etc the impact of not being able to travel has not been too severe. However, there certainly are some negatives. For example, doing on-line meetings with a prospect that you don’t know, can never be as impactful, especially from a rapport point of view, compared to physically sitting down in front of them face to face. In addition, you don’t have the opportunity to take them out for lunch or dinner and for them to really get to know and trust you, which is how many deals are closed. So, for sure, the lack of travel has had an impact and I have missed not being able sit in front of clients and prospects personally. I will welcome the time that we are able to do this again. Q What tips would you give for a budding Business Development executive on how to penetrate the Asian market? Other than the old school way of grafting via cold calls etc, there are some more strategic ways to go about getting yourself in front of relevant prospects. I

GAME CHANGERS Issue #29

would say the most valuable way by far is to establish partnerships with other companies in the region that offer services to the same type of businesses you are going for. Naturally you must be careful that you only partner with companies that do not present a conflict of interest, so if you work for a bridge provider for example, you could work with PSP’s, Reg reporting firms, LPs, CRM providers etc and refer each other’s services to your respective clients. This is a great way to get your foot in the door via a warm recommendation from someone the prospect already knows or works with. Another good medium to use is LinkedIn to target key people from specific firms and also to release good quality content pertaining to your products benefits and strengths etc. This is a great way to gain exposure and pick up leads. Overall, the FX community is a relatively small sphere when it comes to market participants, so maintaining integrity and demonstrating a good understanding of your product and the prospects business will always stand you in good stead reputationally. This is something to be always conscious of when you are out there representing yourself and your company, as maintaining a robust reputation is paramount to continued success in business development. Q Any new developments on the horizon for Centroid? There are constant developments being released on a monthly basis which is great from a sales point of view, but it can often be tough to keep up with them all. This is however, a great problem to have. In the last few months alone, we have added a Market Impact feature that allows clients to monitor and track toxic flow. We also added an automated hedging feature, a trade copier and ability to give-up trades to MT4 and MT5 accounts. These are just a few of the recent updates. The next big update that is due to be launched in the coming weeks, is a feature that will allow brokers to build their own books of liquidity with bespoke depth and pricing tranches. I won’t go into too much detail on what else can be done with this feature but will be happy to explain more on this, and indeed our entire suite of technology to anyone individually. Feel free contacting me personally or any of the team for a chat and/or demonstration. Website: www.centroidsol.com Email: r.bartlett@centroidsol.com


Playbell & CO ANDREA STEFANI Playbell & CO Partner

Q Despite being a lawyer, you also were previously very active in the day to day running of a brokerage. Do you think this helped you understand the industry? After 3 years working exclusively in financial services law, I was given the opportunity to participate in the set up of a Cyprus Investment Firm as a shareholder. As a lawyer, you can often be the best legal eagle, but can seriously lack practical knowledge, and this is truly applicable in areas such as financial services. It was then I decided to leave the law for 2 years and begin the operation of a brokerage so as to try to understand how the daily routine of the back office, dealing room etc is undertaken. As I was lucky enough to work with some top people in the industry, I was able to really see the operational side of a brokerage and in particular the dealing room side. Many lawyers know the capital requirements for an STP or an MM, but do they really know what this means? Practically, one of the main differences between an STP and an MM firm is how these firms handle the risk that arises from client orders. An MM holds an own account license and can therefore warehouse the exposure arising from client orders. Many brokers operate a hybrid model where they keep the majority of the exposure warehoused within their B Book and manage their risk by sending some of this flow to liquidity providers (A Book). An MM licence will still require a reliable source of executable pricing. This could be via a price feeder or a FIX solution from a Liquidity Provider via a Bridge or naked gateway. The price feeder solution does not allow you, however, to offload risk and therefore is not in line with local regulatory requirements. The architecture of the brokerage department is the same for an STP or MM firm with most reliant on a liquidity bridge. MT4/5 Administrator where the trading conditions and group plans are implemented and of course an MT4/5 Manager terminal where the Dealing Room can monitor client exposure. These are just some of the small models I was able to observe and understand. It is this exposure accompanied with many other practical involvements within different departments that benefited my wider learning of the industry. GAME CHANGERS Issue #29

Q My personal opinion of modern compliance staff, is that they understand the law incredibly well, however they are not willing to work with it to find a solution. They just seem to give a no to everything. How can this be remedied? I am of the opinion that the compliance function is firstly too segregated, and although obligatory in most circumstances under the relevant legislation and directives, it seems to form an automatic barrier between the compliance department and the rest of the departments. I strongly believe that this is one of the most substantial reasons that ‘no� seems to be the favourable answer when advice is sought from the compliance department. What needs to be understood is that it is very difficult to find a solution for a matter when you have not been briefed as to why this needs to be achieved, what is the purpose, what will this gain for the firm etc. My advice would be that management work more closely with the compliance team to help them understand why certain models need to be implemented. Q What tips can you give to any lawyers looking to go into compliance? This particular field demands a high level of patience, practical interpretation and the ability to adapt with the new regulation and legislation. Laws are constantly changing to an increasingly dynamic landscape and there’s still much work to be done to ensure that the financial system works for everyone. For new lawyers, it would be ideal to start with a corporate/financial services traineeship before attempting to go to a compliance role or if from a litigation background, I advise to undertake a corporate placement before proceeding to a compliance role. I also believe that studying for the Cysec advanced examinations can also give a quick start to understanding the financial services sector in Cyprus. If you are a lawyer wanting to be part of continuously changing regulatory environment then compliance is probably the right choice for you. Q What tips can you give to any lawyers looking to go into compliance? This particular field demands a high level of patience, practical interpretation and the ability to adapt with


the new regulation and legislation. Laws are constantly changing to an increasingly dynamic landscape and there’s still much work to be done to ensure that the financial system works for everyone. For new lawyers, it would be ideal to start with a corporate/financial services traineeship before attempting to go to a compliance role or if from a litigation background, I advise to undertake a corporate placement before proceeding to a compliance role. I also believe that studying for the Cysec advanced examinations can also give a quick start to understanding the financial services sector in Cyprus. If you are a lawyer wanting to be part of continuously changing regulatory environment then compliance is probably the right choice for you. Q Do you believe that the regulator actually understands how the FX industry works? European regulators are among the best in the world at ensuring compliance with the letter and the spirit of the law. With that, it’s up to lawmakers to lead the discussion regarding how new assets are regulated. One of the main issues that seems to arise is that each European country seems to interpret laws slightly differently and more specifically, MIFID II. For example, Introducing Brokers have been “banned” by Cysec, but seem to still be running under FCA and Barfin. There is the option to register as a Crypto asset firm under the FCA, but this option is not available in Cyprus. Furthermore, what’s clear to us now is that currencies themselves are currently undergoing a massive technological upgrade. As of yet, we’ve not seen significant legislation designed to assist regulators to do their job scrupulously in the face of this budding fundamental shift. Q With a huge global recession about to occur, how can Cyprus form legislation to help entrepreneurs and startups? Of course, the implementation of legislation regarding blockchain, cryptocurrencies and distribution. We need to start moving with the fact that crypto assets are going to have a major role in shaping the future of money and laws as we know them today. Global innovation is inevitable, and we need to ensure that Cyprus remains one the most favourable hubs for financial services and financial innovation by working on achieving bespoke legalisation inclusive of systemic measures to ensure that operational risks are also covered. Q Is there anything you would change about the Cyprus legal system from a users point of view? I feel strongly that there should be a clearer frame-

work regarding blockchain technologies and a more favourable outlook towards the digital upgrade of our financial system. This will make it easier to introduce tokenised assets and work with more advanced tools to benefit from the growing global trend of programmable money. Q Is there life after FX for Cyprus? The world of forex was a huge benefit for Cyprus over the last few decades but alas all good things must come to an end. The lack of volatility in the currency markets has meant that investors needed to increase leverage in order to sustain the gains they sought. A model that we now see is unsustainable. The next generation of tradable financial assets is now available online and is growing in popularity and usage across the globe. Those who adapt to it the quickest have the most to gain. Website: www.playbell.com Email: astefani@playbell.com

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Not the M word. HELEN ASTANIOU Head of Marketing at TIO Markets

There was once an time, when marketing was simple. Being involved in marketing meant f inding an innovative way to represent a brand either visually, or with a clever tag line. Some of the best and most memorable advertising taglines successfully influenced people’s’ widespread perception of a product of service. For instance, does anybody you know wear a diamond on their finger? Of course they do. Credit to DeBeers’ “A Diamond is Forever” campaign in the 1940s, which gave birth to the widespread and long standing trend of diamond engagement rings.

How about the image of the happy fat, red-clothed Santa? Marketing again. This time, credit to Coca Cola who influenced us to visualise Santa in exactly this way, instead of in his previous green, elvish garb.

Source: www.forevermark.com

There is no doubt that marketing can heavily influence people and their perceptions. And if the powerful tool of marketing is used responsibly, there is nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately for marketing folk like myself, there are times when you look upon less ethical campaigns and cringe. Perhaps you’re at the supermarket with your young children and the tantrums won’t end until you actually buy the Peppa Pig yogurt, even if the ingredients contain unnatural, incomprehensible additives likely to give

GAME CHANGERS Issue #29


your child an e-number high. (No disrespect meant to the much loved Peppa empire.) Or perhaps you remember the Benetton campaign of the 90s, which shocked people into noticing the Benetton brand, even though the resonating billboard photograph of a man dying of aids was entirely unrelated to its clothing brand.

Source: www.forevermark.com

Marketing has evolved (albeit not exclusively) into the online world over the years, because the offline for obvious reasons cannot be relied upon to deliver virality. A marketing team once challenged to simply come up with a clever tagline along with an accompanying image, is now tasked to produce a multitude of inspiring static, animated, and spinning visuals in order to speak directly to clients across many languages, countries and belief systems. In the same way that people learn in different ways – people accept ideas in different ways too. Marketing in the forex world has its own additional and unique challenges. With today’s regulatory restrictions on marketing in FX, marketing teams are heavily challenged to market in an incredibly saturated industry, but in an ethical, transparent and responsible manner. Marketers bear a responsibility to the consumers of their financial products. We are responsible for informing them of the risks and for educating clients on how to use such products safely.

Whilst my own marketing style varies according to the need at any given time, my style at this current conjecture (if I had to choose one) is one of acceptance. I accept that I have a responsibility to the client and that any campaign messaging - no matter how short - must include the risk warning. I accept the limitations of promoting a highly risky product. I accept that the largest online platforms are prohibitive of speculative financial products. Once all limitations are laid bare, only then I can start planning. The people we market to are after all, people. People do not want to be promised riches that they will never attain. They do not want to be fed fibs. They do not want to be deceived through clever trickery. They want to be either entertained or properly informed or both. Some of the most viral campaigns in forex historically, (I’m avoiding use of the word ‘best’, which is of course wholly subjective), have been those that are either funny enough to prompt a belly laugh at the end of the ad, or are sharing genuinely interesting, informational and sharable content. No campaign of course can be evaluated on its success until the data tells you that it’s successful. Anecdotal feedback and even clicks don’t matter unless the money is in the bank to prove that your campaign was a success. Where marketing can be a bit of a dirty word at times; synonymous with deception or exaggeration, we work hard at TIOmarkets to prove that rule wrong. So what have we done to change perceptions and to influence? Marketing can often be the first line of fire when things go wrong so, we’ve been cautious in our marketing approach. And now for the shameless plug: We at TIOmarkets promote real trading environments, produce truthful messaging. And we try to do this in an inviting, original way. So, what’s the best form of marketing? The one where you don’t feel you’re being marketed to at all.

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PSP Angels VIKTORIA SOLTESZ Founder of PSP Angels

LET’S DEFINE: ‘HIGH RISK’

It is inevitable that we live in unprecedented times. So you realize it is the perfect chance to start turning yourself into your own boss: you come up with an extraordinary idea, and start building it up as a side hassle. Months later, you’ve got your brand new business ready to get rolling, and so you start. Everything goes according to plan only to realize the only point you cannot check out on your perfectly polished list is the ‘Start processing payments’, which is the last and most important stage that will get you to your well-deserved money. You turn around to realize the reason to that problem is actually all the hundreds of different PSPs (Payment Service Providers) and banking applications you had reviewed, submitted and negotiated got rejected, without any given reason as to why. This isn’t the case only with fresh, start-up companies. One could be a well-established business, yet all the funds and banks suddenly get cut off, this time with the reason being ‘you are too high risk for our appetite’.

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These are just two basic examples to prove how finding the right payment and banking provider takes up a lot of time, dedication and effort as the industry is changing all the time which makes it difficult to keep a finger on the pulse on the market. The problem always with payments, is that either funds get stuck with the PSPs, banks shut down accounts, merchants cannot process cards or simply needed alternative payment methods, which is why one should always have a good 2-3 solutions on hand in case anything goes wrong. It’s a never ending search, as all providers are coming up with new products, and your company is changing too.

However, the thing that sometimes leaves businesses confused and frustrated, is the mere fact that they might not even have a clue they are considered high risk, so they are stuck with applying to acquirers and processors who offer low risk merchant accounts. They may think they are different form the obvious ‘high risk’ industries such as Forex, Crypto,


Gaming, Gambling, Adult, Pharma and CBD, yet they are actually waving every red flag under the eye of the banks. Offering subscription models, being a startup, provide online content and services, such as IT, fortune telling, and even collecting donations as NGOs etc. are all considered high risk. Typically, these are the niches that although generate huge monthly volumes, might have high chargeback ratios (over 1%), perhaps have high average ticket amounts and might have a chance of not complying AML policies, so they are either declined by most acquirers or are offered very high processing fees. Once we had a client, who had a drop shipping business for tech gadgets. They have wasted 6 months processing with a provider at an extremely high fee of 10%, didn’t know about the security deposit (called rolling reserve) which was held back for 180 days. They had no expertise and knowledge that there might be a better offer for them out there. What made them high risk was that drop shipping involved sending out customer information to a third party, and high ticket volumes. Another great example was another merchant of ours who lived in the EU and set up a company in US where their target market was USA and Canada for their eLearning services. They were surprised to get rejected by all the acquirers, not knowing why, until they were advised to appoint a US director living in the US, and were offered a contract in a week. The thing that made these guys initially unfavorable, was that banks were questioning the presence of the US company without a proof of a US director living there and also the nature of the business that had a risk of high chargeback ratios. Of course it is perfectly fine to build a business on anything you like and believe in, (as long as you haven’t got any illegal activity lurking behind the scenes) but that does not mean you should stay unaware of the factors that are disabling you from generating the maximum profit. It has certainly become an industry standard to contact a payment consulting firm in such cases as you are more likely to find quicker and cheaper solutions since they constantly screen the payment industry for companies like you.

Viktoris Soltesz Founder of PSP Angels

Remember: everyone is guilty until proven innocent – at least in the eye of the bank - especially when one wrong merchant can cost them their license.

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Global Forex Awards 2020 The Global Forex Awards - Retail recognise the best performing forex businesses / brands on a global & regional basis. They reward those championing cutting-edge technology, low-cost trading, comprehensive market research tools, advanced educational programs and world-class customer service for direct to consumer/ trader forex businesses. Michael Boydell, Director, Holiston Media commented...” These awards recognise and reward the best of the best in the global retail forex markets. With a record number of unique votes cast by the global public forex trading community we have coordinated our most successful awards to date. The Global Forex Awards aim to highlight the best performing global and regional forex businesses and therefore we congratulate all of the 2020 award winners. They can be truly proud of their success.”

October sees the release of the much anticipated retail FX awards held by Holiston Media. Both Mike Boydell and Archie Humphries have become fixtures of the award circuit, by demonstrating unparalleled transparency in the often murky world of the awards industry. Game Changers has been happy to help promote the various events that they hold.

“At FxPro, we are committed to the ongoing innovation and development of our trading products and services. The recent achievements of ‘Best Trading platform’ in Africa & Asia are a tremendous addition to our existing trophy cabinet of 75+ UK & International awards which displays our dedication to constantly improving and maintaining our status as one of the top global brokers for traders worldwide. We appreciate the recognition and are honoured to be awarded”. Ilya Holeu - FX Pro Chief Marketing Officer

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“Each edition we work incredibly hard on Game Changers Magazine, and always strive to make each edition as memorable as the last. We love to make great content working closely with the participants involved. Over the past year we have really evolved GC as our readers were looking for an increase in the lifestyle section. We are always looking to listen to what our readers want, and we are looking forward to the day very soon where we get 100,000 views for an edition. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us, as it is a huge vote of confidence in knowing that GC is going in the right direction.”. Vera Gavrilova - Head of Design at Game Changers Magazine.

“We’re delighted to see the hard work we’ve been putting into developing our presence across the Africa region has paid off. We’re always seeking to provide the greatest trading experience for our clients and this accolade is a further testament to this.” John Goddard - Executive Director of 4XC.

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“We are very proud of AvaTradeGO and absolutely delighted to have been recognised for our innovation and cutting-edge technology in the Global Forex Awards. It’s particularly satisfying to win an award that is decided by public vote. AvaTradeGO makes trading simpler than ever. Taking only a few second to get up and running, the app provides users with step-by-step guidance on opening trades, feedback on activity and support any time it is needed. Traders can manage multiple accounts and switch between demo and real accounts, to get all the data needed on trades. A sophisticated dashboard, complete with a set of intuitive management tools and many more helpful features unique to this app help provide the smooth user experience which is so important to us.” Ori Matarasso - CMO at AvaTrade

“I am very proud that SquaredFinancial has been awarded 2 Global Forex Awards (Best Forex Trading Experience and Most Transparent Forex Broker) in the Middle East. We have put a lot of work into developing our trading offering across the GCC and the wider MENA region. Through dedicated customer support and an expanding portfolio of products, we have been able to give investors the services and options they are looking for” Husam Alkurdi - CEO at SquaredFinancial

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“We are proud to receive the award of Best ECN Broker and would like to express our gratitude to Holiston Media. At Exclusive Capital we offer a personalised approach to financial management, striving to treat every client as the distinct organisation or individual that they are, with a unique financial situation and unique financial goals. By always acting with integrity, accountability, and transparency, we build long-lasting and rewarding relationships to drive sustainable growth. This philosophy is reflected in our excellent reputation and ensures that we can continue to help as many clients as possible achieve a secure, comfortable, and prosperous future”. Lambros Lambrou – Managing Director Viktor Madarasz - Chief Executive Officer Exclusive Capital


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Speakers Corner: Why can’t we all be allowed to launder money? ANONYMOUS

By the time the banking crisis happened in our country back in 2012, we saw some huge improvements in operational procedures in the way that banks receive funds from clients, along with increasing the oversight on who can and cannot have an account. It was not unheard of pre 2012 to hear of representatives of account holders from far off lands, going into the dimly lit back rooms in the belly of the bank with very large sums of money in cash, and their larger personal security staff helping them carry the bags. With KYC being carried out with the shake of a hand, and a nice commission made by the account manager we could see first hand how taking money from some dubious sources was not frowned upon in this country. It was not as bad as the scenes in the famous film Scarface, where the main protagonists walk daily into the bank with millions of dollars. However, from what I understand when the crash occurred, the ‘businessmen’ that had their funds exposed to the hair cut, had interesting ways of making sure that the government policy did not apply to them by using persuasion tactics on the bank manager perhaps only beaten in Guantanamo bay.  Having watched bankers go crazy and pretty much destroy a nation’s economy, with little or no recourse from the state or judiciary on those who carried it out. It was not incredibly surprising to read about the $2 Trillion USD that has been washed through several of Tier one banks over the past two decades from the usual alumni of drug dealers and terrorists, and no legal redress being carried out on a global scale for the accused. Reading the recent FinCen reports in the media, which will no doubt disappear from our news feeds soon, it led me to a moment of contemplation on the subject. I Have long believed that where money and humans are in a relationship you will always have corruption. As the banking system runs on these two actors to make it work, why not just let all the money flow regardless where it comes from.  Now this may seem absolutely mental, however there is method in my madness. In Cyprus we were labelled as a major money laundering location. However, according to many journalists and academics

who monitor international financial crime, London offers a far more sophisticated operation, which can accommodate those with many billions to have access to clean funds.  I think our problem locally was we were not laundering enough or for the right people, therefore we would get huge pressure from the EU to clean up our act. We aimed for the small to medium sized oligarchs that needed funds cleaned, and not the super rich who are looking to have amounts similar to the GDP of a small African nation, moved into the banking system. Every large crime needs what is known as a patsy who takes the blame for the crime acting as the fall guy. This role has been taken on by Cyprus, viewed as the home for all the ills of the global banking system. Cyprus is often seen as the catalyst for this, something which it has been unable to shake off, more in part to its weak PR game. How many times have you said to a client that their funds are being held in a Cyprus bank account, to be greeted with that 3 second silence where they still deep down believe that it is 2012, conjuring the image of impending bread riots and economic collapse. Why is this? incredibly weak PR to speak up for our country, which although not entirely blameless, we do appear to many to be worse than what we actually are.

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Cyprus does appear to get a good kick in from the media based upon the ‘Golden Passport’ program, of which the UK sells more of these at a higher price, with ever more sophisticated accounting practices to get the money in the system, and donated to the correct political party to get their voice heard in a dying political system. I have always been a keen advocate for regulation and using it as a tool for good.However this latest $2 TN USD debacle leads me to think that we should just go crazy and let people really have a free market when it comes to banking. We already pretty much have a system where a fine is viewed as a cost for business, and is priced into the transactions for such clients, so let’s just open the floodgates and see where it takes us. 

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Look at the upsides, no more decline by World Check, or the standard 8000 supporting documents needlessly required to supply because you are unfortunately called John Bin Laden.It appears to me that the regulators are incredibly effective in making life hard for anyone who is not involved in selling tanks or biblical amounts of crack cocaine. As a result of this, should we just end the charade and abandon all regulation. The good people will always do good, and the bad will always do bad. The best way to sum it up is in the words of George Orwell in Animal Farm, ‘we are all equal, but some of us are more equal than others.’


Game Changers Magazine

Lifestyle


GC:LUXURY PANAYIOTIS MELLEKKIS MELEKKIS JEWELLERY

ELEMENTS

FOR SALE: 112,000,000 EUR GUESTS: 24 CABINS: 12 CREW: 29 HELIPAD. MEDICAL SUITE. 140 SQM BEACH CLUB.

Elements is one the world’s few purpose-built SOLAS yachts and is a superyacht of refined splendor. Elements was delivered in 2019 and this 80m motor yacht is offered for sale in brand new condition and low engine hours. Elements has been custom-built to Lloyd’s classification, with unrestricted SOLAS navigation, and is also compliant with commercial operation.  The yacht has two pairs of stabilizers for comfort, is able to take a helicopter and has a 7,000nm range at a cruising speed of 13.5 knots. This incredibly capable ocean-going vessel has a voluminous interior, designed by Cristiano Gatto.  Mixing contemporary exterior styling with a more classic interior, Elements’ decor features precious marbles, rich fabrics, hand-tufted carpets and intricately adorned ceilings, with many further details accentuating the elegance of each room including gold, silver and mother of pearl inlays. Unique design features are found on every deck,

GAME CHANGERS Issue #29

including elegant Grecian-style pillars in the main saloon and the master suite, etched mirrored glass detailing and chandeliers in fine-cut crystal. On the main deck, the saloon is the heart of the yacht and is the natural place for guests to gather. Entering from the aft deck, one is immediately struck by the backlit onyx wall panels and the intricate marble flooring.  Rather than one single lounging area, the saloon offers a variety of sitting areas conducive to smaller groups pursuing different activities at once. Moving forward through the main lobby, there’s a glass lift and one enters the main guest area which houses nine of Elements’ 12 suites.  One level above, the owner’s deck is laid out as a private apartment with two large VIP suites each with luxury bathrooms, an office, and a cinema room, and an astonishingly luxurious owner’s stateroom.  The owner’s suite opens onto a panoramic foredeck with a Jacuzzi pool and the helipad is on the bow, where a private helicopter can land in utmost privacy. 


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In total, Elements has accommodation for 24 guests, comprising the master suite, two VIP staterooms, four double staterooms, four twin cabins, and one smaller twin cabin. Boarding Elements via the transom or large side platform, guests are welcomed into a 140sq.m beach club with chaise-lounges and a white and gold mosaic-finish bar. Also located on this deck is the wellness Centre with a gym, hammam spa with traditional goebetkas and a massage room. From the beach club guests have direct access to the tender garages (housing a 8.4m limousine tender and two SOLAS approved rescue tenders) and the saloon on the main deck.

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For sales enquiries contact Camper & Nicolsons. Photo Credits: Camper & Nicolsons

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GC:FEMME

Looking elegant in a formal setting does not mean that you have to dress like you’re attending a funeral. Autumn gives us a chance to blend many different looks to maintain a high quality feminine look, with a high end fashion house finish. The GC’s fashion queens chose their look, so you can be the CEO of sass!

Brand: Alexandre Vauthier Name: Patch pocket blazer Cost: 1.665 GBP www.alexandrevauthier.com Picture credit: Alexandre Vauthier

Brand: Alexandre Vauthier Name: High waisted tailored trouser Medium Shopper. Cost: 700 GBP www.alexandrevauthier.com Picture credit: Alexandre Vauthier

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Brand: Alexandre Vauthier Name: Patch pocket blazer Cost: 1.665 GBP www.alexandrevauthier.com Picture credit: Alexandre Vauthier

Brand: Alexander McQueen Name: Skull detail clutch Cost: 1.450 GBP www.alexandermcqueen.com Picture credit: Alexander McQueen

Brand: Alexandre Vauthier Name: High waisted tailored trouser Medium Shopper. Cost: 700 GBP www.alexandrevauthier.com Picture credit: Alexandre Vauthier

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Brand: Jimmy Choo Name: Sacora 100 sandals Cost: 1.395 GBP www. jimmychoo.com Picture credit: Jimmy Choo

Brand: Adam Lippes Name: Tailored single breasted coat Cost: 5.565 GBP www. adamlippes.com Picture credit: Adam Lippes

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Brand: Melekkis Jewellery Necklace 18K white gold with 0.31ct diamonds VS/VVS/G Cost: €950

Brand: Melekkis Jewellery Ring Platinum with 0.36ct diamonds VS/VVS/G and 4.97ct Opal Cost: €895

Brand: Melekkis Jewellery Earrings 18kt white gold with 1.05ct diamonds VS/VVS/G Cost: €3.355

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Melekkis Jewellery Brand: Daniel Wellington watch Cost: â‚Ź249

Brand: Melekkis Jewellery Bracelet 18K White Gold with 14ct Diamonds VS/G Cost: â‚Ź33.033


GC:HOMME With the end of summer in Europe, we make a welcome transition out of the lighter materials and fabrics, and switch to our GC’s favorite time of year, autumn.  Although some may feel it is appropriate to dress like you are an overgrown man baby in the modern tech firm. The man who knows how to get deals done, dresses with timeless elegance and tailoring to show your clients that you are dealing with a professional. Here are GC’s favorite looks for the season.

Brand: Brioni Name: White single cuff shirt Cost: 660 GBP www.brioni.com Photo Credit: Brioni BRAND: Brioni NAME: Textured finish tie COST: 304 GBP www.brioni.com PICTURE CREDIT: Brioni

BRAND: Prada NAME: Brushed derby shoe COST: 645 GBP www.prada.com PICTURE CREDIT: Prada

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BRAND: Isaia NAME: Single breasted check suit COST: 6269 GBP www.isaia.it PICTURE CREDIT: Isaia

BRAND: Bottega Veneta NAME: Woven leather briefcase COST: 4986 GBP www.bottegaveneta.com PICTURE CREDIT: Bottega Veneta


BRAND: Brunello Cucinelli NAME: Reversible double faced coat COST: 6700 GBP www.brunellocucinelli.com PICTURE CREDIT: Brunello Cucinelli

BRAND: Jil Sander NAME: Double breasted coat COST: 2700 GBP www.jilsander.com PICTURE CREDIT: Jil Sander

BRAND: Vivienne Westwood NAME: Holborn 39mm watch COST: 225 GBP www.viviennewestwood.com PICTURE CREDIT: Vivienne Westwood

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GC:EAT GIN GARDEN. LIMASSOL.

Address: Ifigeneias 23, Limassol 3036   Website: www.gingarden.com  Telephone: 00357 96 108877 

With each issue of GC we meet to discuss the running order, along with ideas for future editions, and to generally shoot the sh*t with each other. Most brands like to do what many marketing bores term as ‘blue sky thinking’, where you are encouraged to say anything, as chair of the meeting happily announces there are no boundaries with all the zeal of the second in command at a cult. Based on the majority of our past experiences, there are many boundaries often laid down, and the blue skies are often full of grey soggy clouds stained by the lost souls who were previously incumbent in your chair. How many of you have been on the end of the dead eyed smile from the Head of Marketing, whose passive aggressive compliments you can actively use as a barometer for your future employment prospects. At GC we have found that the best way to generate new ideas, is to add a little wetness to the blue clouds with the helping hand of alcohol. After all, most great ideas have been scien-

GAME CHANGERS Issue #29


tifically proven to be generated in the relaxed environments of a bar or when you are taking a moment to yourself in the bathroom.

not to question what you will order. Moreover, it also matches the ambience very well, with music set at the right level not to deafen us.

Seeing as though Limassol does not cater for an en masse toilet experience, we decided to think of new ideas with full stomachs and full glasses to feed the mind, body and soul.

With a huge selection of Gin on offer from the traditional brewing location of England, they also offer Austrian, New Zealand and Italian brands to name but a few of the extensive list of countries where your drinks are sourced.

We had been mailed many times by you the reader to take a look at the Gin Garden in the Old Town of Limassol. If you based in the Old Town and have never patronised it before, you have probably walked past the old mansion several times without knowing what sits behind the walls. With summer ending, it seemed like a great time to sit in the faded grandeur of the old mansion, and not melt from the heavy summer city heat and see what all the cyber fuss was all about. We sat in the garden which based on observing other peoples food and drinks, the Gin Garden caters very well for for vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters and alcoholics alike, all sitting harmoniously and enjoying the evening. The menu has a nice selection of food that is enough to soak up the alcohol, but also a high enough quality

Moreover, for the non drinkers and non gin drinkers out there, there is a nice selection of alternatives, so you are not stuck with the usual twins of boring choices, aka sparking water or diet Coke. With regards to food we had a great cross section of homemade pizzas, tacos and dips which tasted delicious, but also not over filing so we could still have think and not fall asleep. After a couple of hours and a nice new portfolio of ideas to work on for GC, we can definitely say that the Gin Garden is well worth a visit. One tip we would give is to book ahead as it has become an incredibly popular location.  They say that Gin is mothers ruin, it certainly did not ruin ours!

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GAME CHANGERS Issue #29


GC:FITNESS 3 Exercises & Tips To Improve Your Posture LUIS RIBEIRO Founder of Club Health www.clubhealth.uk

Isn’t it funny when back pain, shoulder cramps or neck soreness appear “out of nowhere”? You keep doing what you are doing day in and day out and out of the blue, your body “decides” to give out. News flash: The body never decides to do anything you’re not enabling it to do. The body acts and reacts based on your choices. Body aches are the amalgamation of bad habits, of unhealthy choices and unwise tendencies we develop in our daily routines.  Today we will look at 5 exercises to improve your posture and battle these pains and discomforts, giving you an easy solution to a problem that can develop to something big.  Before we look at the exercises, we’ll look at the causes and propose some quick fixes.

Sitting On A Desk Can the people with an office job please stand up? We’re not trying to hype you up or call for attention. We’re actually suggesting you stand up. That’s tip number one towards fixing any upper body related aches you might be experiencing. Stand up, stroll in the office, suggest to your management to provide you with standing desks. Their benefits are irrefutable. Here’s some of the core benefits identified by the Harvard Medical School: • Obesity • Diabetes • Cardiovascular disease • Cancer (especially cancers of the colon or breast) • Premature death


Standing is not the only thing you can do to reduce the strain on your body. There’s a lot you can do while sitting. This guide by the NHS ticks some of the most important points you should pay attention to. • Support your back • Adjust your chair so your arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint • Rest your feet on the floor • Place your screen at eye level instead of looking down to it Lying On The Couch For many people, this is the most relaxing part of their day – coming home after a long day at the office and relaxing on the couch watching some telly.  We’re not trying to ruin the experience, we’re just trying to ensure it doesn’t negatively affect your body in the long run. Here are some tips to keep in mind. • • • • •

Give your neck and back penty of support Sit across from the screen, not at an angle Change posture frequently Take breaks Avoid watching movies on your phone

Lying on the couch might give the illusion it relaxes you, but it can prove to be the source of many back or neck-related problems. Now that we’ve identified some of the sources of your posture discomfort, let’s have a look at some more direct solutions.  Exercise #1 – Plank Say hello to the almighty plank. An exercise that is simple yet extraordinarily helpful for your posture and overall health. Before moving to the benefits, let’s introduce the exercise to those who don’t know it.  This is how you plank: Step #1: Place your hands on the ground, either with your palms touching the ground. An alternative is to touch the ground with the length of your hand from elbow to your wrist.  Step #2: Your feet should be stretched back open at the width of your shoulders, your body not touching the ground. You should be balancing on the balls of your feet.   Step #3: Your spine should be parallel to the ground.   


Step #4: Your tailbone should be tucked so that it’s aligned with your spine, not sticking into the air.

Planking is the ultimate home exercise to battle bad posture and build a healthy, durable core.

Step #5: Make sure you squeeze your glutes (ass) tight.

Exercise #2 – Child’s Pose This is one of the most underrated and underappreciated exercises. The reason? For some it’s the name. For others, it’s the seemingly easy execution of the pose.

Step #6: Your back muscles should be flexed and pulling away from the floor. Step #7: Make sure your lower back isn’t sagging and your booty isn’t popping up. As much of a straight line as possible. Try to hold the plank for as long as you can.  Now that you can do a plank, time to find out what it does for your body. • Engages the whole body • It needs no equipment • Improves your flexibility • Enables higher metabolic rate The plank helps your body and health in a number of ways. When it comes to posture though, that’s when the real effects kick in.  • Strengthens back muscles  • Builds core strength • Stabilizes joints No equipment, no time wasting, no trip to the gym.

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At Club Health, we don’t follow trends or believe in what “most people believe in”. We like to investigate, test and come up with our own evaluations. The child’s pose is one of the exercises we regularly recommend to people that face posture problems. Before we tell you why, let’s tell you how to execute it: Step #1: Sit on your shin bones with your knees and big toes touching, whilst  your heels are splayed out to the side. Step #2: Bend forward at your hips and fold your body onto your legs. Then, walk your hands out in front of you. Step #3: Try to place your forehead on the floor. If it’s not possible, try to get as close to the floor as you can.   Step #4: Keep your arms extended at all times.


Step #5: Take deep breaths and feel the air go through your rib cage down your waist. Step #6: Keep this pose for up to 5 minutes while continuing to breathe deeply. Now that you know how to get into a child’s pose, here are the reasons why it’s not a child’s play: • • • •

Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest Helps alleviate stress and anxiety Flexes the body’s internal organs It lengthens and stretches the spine

Here’s how: • • •

Stretches out and decompresses the spine Lubricates, hydrates, and nourishes the intervertebral discs It does wonder for your shoulder strength, flexibility and endurance

Add this to your daily routine and it won’t be long before you see the results. Recap Here you have it. 3 exercises that will save you from those nagging pains in your back, neck and upper body. Our mission here at Club Health is to constantly feed you with information and resources for a more enjoyable life. Your body is your life and we will do everything in our power to get the best out of it.  Stay tuned as there’s more from where this came from. 

It is an exercise that unlocks the lower back and spine, allowing your body to regain flexibility and range of motion. It releases all the tension you’ve been building through your routine and resets the body posture. Exercise #3 – Hanging To avoid any confusion, this is the exercise we are referring to:  You know pull ups, right? This is the exercise…without the pull up. Jump on a pull up bar and stay there. Just hang. Let your body weight drag you down. Don’t push, don’t pull. Just let gravity do its thing.  Reading our advice to just do a vertical hang might get you questioning the entire article but trust us when we say that this simple exercise can do wonders for both your posture and your body as a whole. 

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GC:SPORTS - Women in Sports VIBHA SANJAY NAIKNAVARE Head of Indian Partnership at Van Hawke Sports

I was 15 when I first saw a live match between Martina Hingis and Venus Willams fighting for the Title Champions Tennis league during 2014 which was the first International league held in Hyderabad, India. Thinking about the tournament still gives me goosebumps. But one thing that always bothered me was the empty stadium as opposed to the men’s matches that held full capacity. I always thought that the reason for this was a lack of interest in women’s tennis, but it turned out to be the same occurrence in other women’s sports. When people think of sports, very few people think of successful female teams and athletes. Try naming your top 5 favourite female athletes or teams and you’ll probably see what I mean. Now think about it, I am sure the list of favourite teams or athletes is dominated by men. It is only within the last decade that female players have been recognized in male-dominated sports such as Football, Rugby, Formula One, and Cricket which allowed them to pursue sports full time. Women in sports have come a long way from facing challenges throughout history to achieving gender equality at a certain stretch. Just take a look at the 2020 US open women’s singles draw with nine mothers out of which Serena Willams, Victoria Azarenka, and Tsvetana Pironkova made history by becoming the first trio of mothers to enter quarter-finals, also known as a charge led by super mums. Yet, stereotypes and lack of representation is the most extensive barrier to gender equality all over the world. The battle of sexes first started in 1973 Billie Jean King, who founded the Women’s Tennis Association and started a movement for female players to earn equal prize money in tournaments irrespective of gender. It took 28 years until another Grand Slam consistently awarded equal prize money. “Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs,” King once said. “I want women to have the cake, the icing and the cherry on top, too”. Many would suggest that gender equality is all about equal pay. And although it is a major issue that cannot

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be ignored, there is more to it than meets the eye. At first, people believed the main reason for this was low participation and performance in women sports while compared to men. When shed a light, women have multiple opportunities and access when compared to the past. Thousands of grassroots development are aimed to increase the performance of women and the results have already shown. The data shows 40% of all the athletes are women and have excelled immensely in various sports from cricket to Esports. Words such as fear of failure, expenses, social reaction, and comfort zone that women always tend to hear act as motivation to perceive more. The issue is embedded by the insufficiency of visibility in media and promotion. According to the reports, women makeup 40% of all participants in sports but only receive 4% of sports media coverage. Whenever I switch on the television, 90% of sports broadcasted are men’s sports. This indirectly leads to a shortage of motivation for future female enthusiasts to participate in sports and increases the drop out of female athletes. Even when you reflect back, if you are a die-hard Liverpool fan or a City fan, no one actually talks about their Women’s team. Interestingly, most of the team’s social media posting addressing their women athletes is one in twenty. Ever wondered, why? Well, sexism in sport starts with how women sports are marketed by their own leagues. Despite government’s efforts to equalise and invest in women sports, we are yet to see more results and changes moving forward. And marketing and media visibility play an essential role for this to happen. There is a correlation between the popularity of a sport and the salaries of its athletes. The game’s popularity comes from how much time, coverage, and money is invested in it. To this date, female sports experience fewer media coverage and poor quality of technical production as opposed to men. This also shows the level of play and quality of the game as one of the main reasons behind the lack of support for women sports. Thinking of it, women sports are worth the coverage


and deserve high production values. Women sports just cover fewer cut shots, angle, and replays which will obviously make the game much slower and not as exciting as men sports. It is a vicious cycle in which the lack of promotion in women’s sport can easily be conceived as the root of the problem justifying why sports fans are not as interested in women’s sports as they are in men’s sports. Due to less promotional activities in women sports, brands are not very confident when it comes to investment and sponsoring them. Brands tend to follow the same traditional method of sponsorship thinking of better ROI. However this is completely changing now. Women in sport have a broad opportunity for brands by producing creative content and campaigns which has a unique mission to reach their target audience. Additionally, women’s sport is much more accessible than men’s sport. There is a huge potential, strong interest, and growth in women sports. Majorly because of high growth in viewership in women tennis and according to Fox sports FIFA women’s world cup final match in 2018 outperformed men by a 22% increase in viewers. For all that I can say is there is a huge interest in women sports but the solution starts with marketing

the women teams and the individual athlete. Imagine WNBA being promoted on the same level as the NBA. The day when people want to watch, support, and pay for women sports as the same as men sports, it is that moment when female athletes will be paid equally. Nevertheless, a stronger female presence within the sport is to be expected. We have witnessed certain improvements in media coverage and women sports development campaigns in recent years which is slowly eradicating the gap of inequality and is increasing female representation moving forward. To quote Nelson Mandela, “Sports holds the power to change the world, inspire, and unite people together”. Sports can create a yearning and an opportunity for gender equality. What really matters is us, men and women working together towards positive changes. Sports has such a positive impact and is open for all, so why not lead women in sport to the top and celebrate them together by inspiring future generations of athletes and coaches towards a better future? Van Hawke Sports is a leading sports marketing agency, specialising in sports sponsorship for brands. If you want to learn more about us and how we can assist you, contact us today.


ISSUE #29

THE JOURNAL FOR INDUSTRY LEADERS

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Game Changers issue 29  

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