BOFCON 2016 – Club Call: Partnerships and Activation

Tony KennyTony Kenny and Mark Davies agreed that the days of making a sponsorship deal and waiting to the end to check its impact are long gone. Bookmakers and clubs are working on a daily basis to push sponsorship activation, ensure that the partnerships are engaging and generate PR opportunities.

Tony Kenny, Head of Sponsorship for William Hill, cited the Joshua vs Martin fight, and the Old Firm Scottish Cup clash between Celtic and Rangers as key indicators of their active sponsorship strategy. William Hill sponsored the recent IBF World Heavyweight bout and remain title sponsors of the Scottish Cup.

Tony also acknowledged the boost that Rangers’ return to the top flight will give Scottish football, and the extra commercial opportunities the regular Old Firm encounters will throw up. He also confirmed that William Hill will spend significant money on activating sponsors and marketing promotions around Euro 2016, rather than waiting for the new Premier League season.

The reason being that bookmakers need to take advantage of the huge interest, with matches near enough every day, and use what they’ve learned from the tournament to develop an even more effective CRM strategy for the 2016/17 football season.

Mark Davies, sitting alongside Tony Kenny in this #bofcon club call panel, talked about the unlikely Leicester City story. He spoke about the boost that it has given the sports betting industry, primarily with the social media attention around punters who backed the Foxes to win the Premier League.

For those who took the 5000/1 bet, deciding whether to ‘cash out’ has captured the attention of social media and given the bookmakers the chance to create special promotions and push themselves forward by paying out early. Davies referred to this cash out excitement as a ‘gamble on a gamble’.

Mark Davies, Head of New Business at Leicester City, also suggested that the rise of Leicester could actually shape the future of sponsorship in the Premier League, with the supposedly lesser teams able to create better partnership deals. He also referenced Leicester City’s inflated Facebook following, from 500,000 to 3.5 million followers, as an example of their extended reach in light of the success.

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