Tony Kenny looks after the PR/Communication and activation of William Hill’s sponsorship portfolio, which includes the Scottish Cup, Premier League and World Darts Championship.
Kenny will be on our ‘Different Ball Game’ panel at Betting on Sports 2016 (September 15-16), speaking about how betting companies can reach new audiences via sports partnerships.
SBC: William Hill has always had a broad sponsorship portfolio; as an organisation, how do you think you’ve benefited from this?
TK: I think we’ve moved with the times and used our sponsorship mix effectively across our business both internally and externally. The industry’s current situation with Horse Racing shows the importance of not having a reliance on one sport.
SBC: In its current context, do you think betting is too entwined with football marketing? Does the industry require fresh thinking?
TK: For us, football sponsorship and partnerships remains an important part of our mix. It’s a competitive marketplace and it’s important to be front of mind when it comes to football betting – however there are emerging crossover sports where you can indirectly engage with a similar audience.
SBC: Do you think that the marketing and communications for sports partnerships within the industry have become too formulaic? How do industry stakeholders create fresh and appealing campaigns?
TK: I think betting companies need to look at their overall business objectives and strategy before jumping into football sponsorship. Then generate their campaigns based on their target audiences rather than going for the global 3.6 billion audience. They also need to engage more with fans through interactive content and stop thinking about supporters as numbers on their PowerPoint presentations.
SBC: How can smaller sports with a unique audience make themselves more appealing to sports betting operators?
TK: I think it’s really making themselves more appealing to the wider world. The UFC, Boxing and Darts are sports have revamped their images and have now become aspirational events to watch and attend.
SBC: You are speaking at BOS on extending the betting industry’s reach within wider sports; what do you want delegates to take away from your session?
TK: I hope they will get an insight into the importance of having a broad sponsorship mix and our successes both inside and outside of football sponsorship.
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