Cross-Over Product Launches Require Cross-Over Product Teams

Allwyn Illinois’ new innovative lottery game required careful collaboration.

Written by Dana Cassell
Published on Apr. 11, 2024
Cross-Over Product Launches Require Cross-Over Product Teams
Photo: Shutterstock
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Played the lottery recently? The last time you bought a scratch-off or clicked through a lottery game online, you probably didn’t pause to consider how much behind-the-scenes work goes into creating, designing, engineering, marketing and getting the games to your hands. 

Matthew Holmes, senior insights manager with Allwyn, on the other hand, thinks about those pieces of the puzzle all the time. In his role, he’s part of highly calibrated, cross-functional GTM teams that bring the Illinois Lottery games to players. 

The team’s recent launch was an inventive cross-over between paper lottery tickets and online gaming. Called Scan-N-Play, the new game enables users to buy a lottery ticket, scan the barcode, and watch the game play out on their phone. 

Making such a creative cross-over reality took some serious collaboration from the product team. In addition to building and designing the game itself, the question of how to market the new kind of lottery experience was a challenge.

“We knew we had a great new innovative product that players would love, but because of its novelty, we knew we had to communicate a lot with a little to have the message cut through to our consumers,” Holmes said.

Even the challenges were instructive, though. And the product team’s success is helping to reinvent not only how people play the lottery, but also how local tech launches unfold. Built In asked Holmes to tell us more about the process.

 

Matthew Holmes
Senior Insights Manager • Allwyn North America

Allwyn is a full-service lottery operator, supplier, and business partner to North American lotteries. 

 

Share your most recent GTM success. What was the product? Which cross-functional partnerships made this launch or release successful?

One of my favorite recent projects was the launch of a new Illinois Lottery product called Fast Play Scan-N-Play. Not only is it new to Illinois, but it is also the first omnichannel draw game product ever launched in the Lottery industry. Players purchase Scan-N-Play tickets in retail, scan the barcode, and then watch the engaging, thematic game on their mobile device. 

Before Scan-N-Play, Fast Play was a category of games that existed only through traditional retail or online via the Illinois Lottery website or app. Scan-N-Play bridges those two worlds and drives players across channels in a single experience. In the same way, the huge effort behind this launch also bridged many parts of our company. 

As the Senior Insights Manager, my role was to validate the market viability of this new product through quantitative and qualitative concept testing, but that was just one piece of the puzzle. It all started with the product team's vision for a new solution. The creative team made the visuals to be tested, my work validated and refined it, the PR team laid the groundwork, the tech team created the infrastructure and the marketing team got the word out to customers.

 

What challenges did your team face on the way to market? How did you overcome these challenges?

We knew we had a great new innovative product that players would love, but because of its novelty, we knew we had to communicate a lot with a little to have the message cut through to our consumers. One of the biggest challenges was finding that balance in our advertising of communicating what the product is, how it's played, and why they should play it. 

 

We knew we had a great new innovative product that players would love, but because of its novelty, we knew we had to communicate a lot with a little to have the message cut through to our consumers.”

 

After the initial product launch, we supported it with an in-store advertising campaign that distilled the game to its essential steps: "Buy, Scan, Play." We also supported the launch with a cross-promotional campaign to draw current Powerball and Mega Millions players into the category. 

These efforts have led to double digital growth in app downloads during the promotional period. Since adding seven new Scan-N-Play games to the portfolio, retail sales have increased by 400%.

 

What about working in your local market empowers your product team to do its best work?

Chicago is a great city that attracts great talent and I think that really shows on our team. Every big launch has its challenges and hurdles, but knowing that you can rely on teammates to do what they do best when the team needs it always makes things easier.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Shutterstock and listed companies.

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