18 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • MAY/JUNE 2023 PGRI INTERVIEWS Paul Jason: How has your 12 years of experience with major CPG (consumerpackaged-goods) brands (McDonald’s, Downy, Pringles, Cover Girl, Kraft) informed your approach to Lottery? For instance, do you think of the product as a game that is played or a consumer product that is bought? And is that even a relevant distinction? Melissa Pursley: e grit of managing CPG and QSR (quick-serve-restaurant) brands is incredible, and I’m so happy to have had that experience early in my career. It taught me the importance of brand positioning, ongoing innovation, and what that brings for your brand’s retail opportunities — and to listen to your consumers and the trends across the market. What I’ve been able to bring from that experience into my lottery service has been a clear focus on data as the key to e ective brand positioning – and driving for decisions that leverage both the science and the art to grow the industry. I’m not sure the distinction between lottery as a game that is played versus consumer product that is bought is relevant in the proposed way. I do think, though, that there is an important distinction between the way we talk to players and the way we talk to retailers. Consumers purchase lottery products for a very clear reason – a chance to win money and have a little fun. ey tell us that again and again, and this doesn’t change between player segments or geographical location. Retailers sell our games as a consumer good – they earn commission and have an opportunity to increase their bottom line. In my experience with the Hoosier Lottery at IGT Indiana, we spent time developing retail plans including merchandising standards, marketing programs, and key account promotions, which enabled retailers to earn increased commissions as sales increased. is also allowed the Lottery to place incremental point of sale, that we would not have gotten otherwise, to help drive player engagement. I believe retailers think of lottery as a CPG, but the players think of lottery as an experience to be enjoyed. I think we want to make sure we lean into the aspect in which lottery is much more than a CPG to players. We want to support that feeling of anticipation, the experience of playing a game, the spark of imagination and hope A CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVE ON DRIVING LOTTERY GROWTH Melissa Pursley Senior Vice President of Lottery Product and Sales Development, IGT PGRI Introduction: Melissa Pursley was recently appointed to lead IGT’s lottery product development and sales management team, reporting directly to IGT CEO of Global Lottery Fabio Cairoli. Melissa also serves on IGT’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Global Council and is a co-executive sponsor of PRIDE with IGT, one of the company’s Diversity & Inclusion Groups — employee networks structured around underrepresented dimensions of diversity. Of course, we have known Melissa from her previous role as COO and General Manager of IGT Indiana on behalf of the Hoosier Lottery. While working on behalf of the State Lottery Commission of Indiana, Melissa had direct responsibility for managing the complex and successful relationship between IGT Indiana, IGT Corporate, and the Hoosier Lottery Commission. Melissa’s leadership helped grow the Hoosier Lottery annual revenue to more than $1.7 billion, with more than $346 million transferred to the State of Indiana in 2022 alone, while maintaining the highest level of responsible gaming certi cation from the World Lottery Association. With direct P&L ownership, Melissa led a team responsible for business functions including strategy, sales, marketing, product development and innovation, and a network of 4,500 retailers across Indiana. I asked Melissa to share her thoughts on moving from the operator side of the business to the technology and business-process partner side of the business.