Matt Wilson, CEO of Gaming at Light & Wonder: The Rebrand from Scientific Games
The rebrand of Scientific Games to Light & Wonder
Light & Wonder, Inc., formerly Scientific Games Corporation (SG), is an American corporation that provides gambling products and services. The company is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, with lottery headquarters and a production plant in Alpharetta, Georgia.
As the head gamer, Matt Wilson leads the strategic growth plans for the Gaming team while overseeing product development, production, supply chain, and sales of the Company’s Gaming products, systems and services. He started with Light & Wonder on March 2, 2020.
This episode discusses the following topics:
- “We make games”
- “Anywhere someone wants to place a bet, we want to be there to facilitate that.”
- New strategy: hyper-focus on games
- The sale of the lottery business
- The rebrand included selling off parts of the business
- The rebrand was stakeholder-led
- Building a ground-up brand with a new mission and values
- The new name was created to better support the company’s creativity and leadership in the cross-platform gaming industry.
- Lexicon helped developed the new name in close collaboration with the Scientific Games leadership team including Steve Stamstad, who really led the process.
- The brainstorming started with 2700 names and six rounds of distilling down
- “Captivate” was considered as the new name for the rebrand
- The new name was employee and prospective employee-inspired
- “We want to be the leading cross-platform global game company.”
- Included in the rebrand is empowering all employees to be “creators”
- Best Game Workshops — if an employee has an idea about a new game, there is an opportunity to “pitch it”
- The future of systems; the gaming experience is converging — what is a player’s worth across all channels (omnichannel). iCasinos, land-based, sports betting.
- VR and AR
- A social element laid over the casino experience
- The “o” in Wonder supports new worlds of play
- “We are trying to create an experience where players go into another world of play.”
- Assets were sold for 7B
Investing organically in R&D is a priority
- “Organic investment is our primary focus”
- The biggest lesson learned for Matt; people are attracted to other people who want to “win” together — a long-term strategic vision. And, engage employees. Clarity of the vision and company values is really important.
- 5 new core values are part of the rebrand.
- The new brand is “bold”
“People are attracted to other people who want to “win” together… a long-term strategic vision. Clarity of vision and company values is really important.”— Matt Wilson
“Anywhere someone wants to place a bet, we want to be there to facilitate that.”— Matt Wilson
Executive Vice President and Group Chief Executive Gaming, Matt Wilson lives to build new worlds of play as Light & Wonder’s Executive Vice President and Group Chief Executive, Gaming. As the head gamer, Matt leads the strategic growth plans for the Gaming team while overseeing product development, production, supply chain and sales of the Company’s Gaming products, systems and services. An experienced Gaming industry executive, he is an accomplished leader known for driving greatness, delivering double-digit growth, capitalizing on new business opportunities, and developing strong customer relationships. Most recently, Matt served as President and Managing Director, Americas at Aristocrat. During his tenure with Aristocrat, he also served as Senior Vice President of Global Gaming Operations, and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Americas.
Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Wollongong and completed the Advanced Management Program at Wharton Business School. Always up for a player-favorite, Matt likes to play any of the Dancing Drums series games.
About Light & Wonder
Light & Wonder is a leading cross-platform global game company focused on creating new worlds where players can immerse themselves in dynamic casino, online or mobile games. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, with nearly 5,000 employees, the company has locations on six continents.
Core principles that unite our team, guide our actions, and drive our growth
1. Dare to be bold — We always bring courage to work to reach for the unbelievable
2. Celebrate perspectives — We combine diverse talent to look at the familiar in unfamiliar ways
3. Never settle — We relentlessly push forward to create the extraordinary in every detail
4. Uphold integrity — We promote accountability and respect to raise the bar for ourselves and the industry
5. Win as a team — We bring out the best in each other to share collective success
About MaxBet Media
Two gambling enthusiasts, with a passion for all things gambling. Whether pressing our luck in the high limit room, testing the money line in the sportsbook, or just making friendly wagers on the back nine… we love to gamble! Our careers in the gaming industry have shown us that this industry is filled with some amazing people, with even more amazing stories. Our goal is to help provide a platform for those stories to be shared, while also helping everyone look good in the process.
About Landon Michael Jones
Manager and Co-Founder
Landon’s fascination with the casino industry began when he was just 12 years old and ultimately landed him in Las Vegas, where he earned a degree in hospitality management from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). For over a decade, Landon has been involved in various aspects of the gaming industry, including operations, management, and supply & distribution.
Landon’s tenacity and passion afforded him the opportunity to serve the gaming industry’s key players and regions throughout the United States. Landon enjoys collaborating with industry leaders to create the ultimate gaming experience for the end-user.
About Mike McKiski
Manager and Co-Founder
A seasoned gaming industry executive and expert in building, marketing, and monetizing gambling related technologies, Mike McKiski currently serves as President of MaxBet Media, Inc., the digital media upstart delivering an unfiltered, authentic, and at times irreverent look at the people who are driving the gambling industry forward.
As he was founding MaxBet Media, Inc., McKiski worked for PlayAGS, Inc. (NYSE: AGS) serving as the company’s Vice President of Sales, with revenue responsibility for the Western United States and all of Canada. Under McKiski’s leadership the revenue team doubled in size and grew revenues over 300%. He is a market transformation catalyst who has been at the forefront of launching mobile and social marketing products for hundreds of casino operators across the continent.