News: William Hill confirms end of the road for local brands

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Updated: January 19, 2015

Welcome to The Outside Word, where we examine news and issues relating to the wagering industry featured in the mainstream media, along with goings-on in the local and international racing and sports betting world.

 

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Two of Australia’s most iconic wagering brands are no more. William Hill Plc today announced that Sportingbet and Centrebet, along with the company’s third local sports betting site TomWaterhouse.com, would be re-branded under the William Hill name over the next 12 months. Sportingbet will be the first to be rebranded, changing to William Hill ahead of the upcoming Autumn Racing Carnival and the 2015 NRL and AFL seasons. Centrebet will be re-branded later this year with TomWaterhouse.com to follow early in 2016.

James Henderson, CEO of William Hill, said: “We have announced today our intention to rebrand our Australian operations to the William Hill brand. William Hill Australia’s potential has been significantly improved as a result of our management changes, the restructuring of our operations, increased marketing effectiveness, enhanced user experience and the ongoing expansion of the product range.

“Using the William Hill brand in Italy, Spain and the US, alongside the UK, has already proved highly successful. I believe now is the right time to adopt the William Hill brand in Australia. The previous introduction of the ‘powered by William Hill’ branding in that market has seen awareness build and the complete change will further improve our competitiveness, bring greater focus to our marketing and IT investment and gives us a strong global brand to compete at the highest level in this attractive market.”

William Hill Australia will increase its marketing budget by $10m to launch the brand locally, shifting its marketing investment behind a single brand which aims to enable it to leverage the value of the wider group’s international sponsorship and existing marketing assets.

Tom Waterhouse, CEO of William Hill Australia, said: “The change to William Hill will give us a recognised and respected international brand with which to compete at the highest level in Australia’s competitive market. It will also allow us to work much more closely with global racing and sporting bodies and provide our Australian customers with more diverse betting opportunities.

“We’ve seen awareness of the brand build strongly since introducing ‘powered by William Hill’ to the market and now is the right time to launch. William Hill Australia has completed a significant improvement phase over the past 18 months. We have a passionate and experienced management team in place, a strong internal technology capability and a more effective approach to marketing,” Waterhouse said.

 

3 Comments

  1. Mike Boyd

    January 21, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    A good move by WH. The Australian market is already cluttered and dysfunctional from a marketing perspective. New customers can’t see the woods for the trees which is stymieing growth. This change will provide WH with clarity and differentiation.

  2. Jason Neave

    January 21, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    It’s a move that had to be made. They can finally start acting like the 1000 pound gorilla they are and use their war chest to provide some serious opposition to the growth of Sportsbet. The only risk to punters is that it might start to look like a Coles/Woolies duopoly before too long, but it is still a smart move by management.

  3. Syd

    January 21, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    They did the smart thing by leaving the iconic names around for a little longer and letting the Australian public know that they are no longer Australian owned.

    As for the the growth of Sportsbet, I find that very humourous. Sportsbet is built on nothing but smoke and mirrors and vast amounts of money spent on advertising, and their mythical ” money back guarantees “. Their prices are a joke and they are not viewed as serious competitors by anyone within the industry in Australia or overseas.

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