Public Gaming International Magazine May/June 2022

37 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • MAY/JUNE 2022 Partnering for Results “The Scientific Games Enhanced Partnership with NCEL is a true partnership in every sense,” explains John Gorman, Scientific Games Director of Marketing in North Carolina, whose experience in finance and analytics prepared him well for an 18-year career in the lottery industry. “SGEP is based on four pillars: product solutions, advanced logistics, retail optimization and digital engagement. But it’s also about people and trusted relationships.” The company’s 40,000-square-foot SGEP facility is located just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina and 15 minutes from NCEL headquarters. More than 30 ScientificGames employees are responsible for accurately filling seven million packs of NCEL ScratchOff games – 370 million individual tickets – per year. On the product solutions front, the team uniquely includes a dedicated product manager, consumer insights specialist and data scientist. Game designers and more analytics and insights resources are in metro Atlanta, just one state away at Scientific Games global headquarters. “Our team works in lock step with NCEL’s team so that we are aligned on everything from product development to sales, brand management and even auditing,” explains Gorman. “We know North Carolina players, so we don’t recommend anything that isn’t a fit, or if we can’t provide data to demonstrate the potential incremental revenue to Mark and the NCEL team.” ScientificGames supports every recommendation to NCEL with a strong ROI analysis. As an example, Double Cash Doubler featuring Scratch My Back with play on both sides of the game was proposed for the Lottery’s portfolio based on its potential to deliver profits. This game indexed at 175 and generated a 434% ROI vs. a typical $5 game without the Scratch My Back feature. Portfolio Optimization Michalko's focus on growth centers on product development and marketing. He streamlined the game development process, moving to 12-month plus plans for game launches. Next, he supported NCEL Deputy Director of Product Development Randy Spielman in the development of a portfolio optimization model that fully utilizes SGEP analytics and market research. The goal? Build a Scratch-Off portfolio with a wide selection of games that appeal to as many current and potential players as possible. One of the largest states in the U.S., North Carolina has a population of 10.5 million and is culturally diverse in every region, from the coast to cities and mountain communities. “In simple terms, the right games on sale at the right time for the right consumers is key to our growth,” says Spielman. One of the most important elements in planning NCEL’s portfolio is the approach to spotlight higher price point game launches. Scientific Games developed forecasting models to assist the Lottery in visualizing the launch cadence of these games five years into the future, which has proven valuable for developing production runs. NCEL launches 51 games per year, about four per month. All launches are on the first Tuesday of the month – with the popular “Mr. First Tuesday” character promoting new games to players. Each game launch has a specific strategy applied to price point, theme, prize structure, play style, color, and merchandising. The Lottery offers $1, $2, $3, $5, $10, $20, $25 and $30 price points. NCEL’s $20+ games currently make up 47% of retail sales (vs 34% in 2017), with Scientific Games’ analytics indicating there is even more room to grow higher price point games. Randy Spielman, NCEL