Luke Rattigan Proving Odds Are In His Favour

Written by Jenna Rathbone


HE IS the chief operating officer of one of Australia’s largest e-commerce businesses, turning over $4 billion a year.

And businessman Luke Rattigan, who has direct responsibility for online, risk and trading and customer operations at internet betting and entertainment site Sportsbet, says there is no stopping the company as it aims to add excitement to the lives of Australians.

Sportsbet, which has operated in Australia since 1993, has grown to have around two million customers and more than 700 employees.

The company has grown from $1.8 billion turnover to more than $4 billion in the last five years, while profit has tripled to more than $100 million.

Rattigan says the growth is testament to a loud, irreverent and funny brand, which has become notorious over the years.

“We have pretty sophisticated digital marketing capabilities as well as lots of use of data and analytics to make sure that our digital marketing campaigns are some of the best in Australia,” says Rattigan.

“We also operate in a market that is growing at about 15 per cent per year and we’ve been able to grow north of the market and take significant market share from our competitors.

“We have a much better product than our competition which ensures great customer experience and more effective marketing.”

Rattigan says the company also prides itself on having great culture, great leadership and great people.

“We have a very clear purpose when it comes to culture our purpose is to add excitement to life,” says Rattigan.

“Internally that helps unite our organisation around a common goal and externally that purpose sends a positive message to customers about what we stand for.”

Rattigan says with this purpose at the forefront of everything the company does, Sportsbet is leading the way in innovation, particularly when it comes to eliminating the stigma associated with online gambling.

“We are the leaders, by a long way, in responsible gambling in Australia,” he says.

“We have proved that we can build great products that people want to bet on and market them to get people to bet more.  But we turned that on its head about six months ago when we said let’s build a product and marketing campaign encouraging people to bet less.”

Sportsbet launched the Take a Break initiative which empowers customers to better regulate their gambling activity by excluding themselves for a period of time.

“You can have a short-term option to prevent any impulsive betting over the weekend so you can lock yourself out for 24 hours or two days,” says Rattigan.

“Or there are long-term options if you want to provide a circuit breaker to determine whether or not gambling is what you want to be doing or not, so you can lock yourself out for six months if you wanted to.

“And we also backed that up with a multimillion-dollar television advertising campaign.  It has been very successful.  We have had thousands of people use that product.”

Rattigan’s advice to young professionals looking to realise their business dreams is to take an active role in managing their career.

“In my mid-20s I had a passion or a vision that I wanted to go and work and live in five international cities in the next 10 years,” says Rattigan.

“I followed that through, with a bit of luck and good fortune of course, but because I actively managed my career.

“You also need to look for companies in sectors that are growing pretty quickly that is much easier to expand your career and grow when you are in a space that is growing pretty rapidly.  The internet and online space is clearly one of those sectors.”

Rattigan will be sharing more of the success of Sportsbet, including how to create game-changing customer experiences, at the Strategy and Innovation World Forum in Sydney, which runs from May 26-27.

Sponsored by Business News Australia, the forum brings together leading business minds and creates a platform for strategy and innovation.

Other speakers include Jason Juma-Ross, head of tech, entertainment and comms at Facebook; Ryan Liddle, head of innovation at Woolworths; Jack Dan, national GM of Telstra; and Leigh Angus, head of innovation at Dominos.


Published by Australia Business News on the 23rd of March.

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