Bookmaker News Of The Week

By Martin Green22 April 2019
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William Hill has signed up world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua as the face of its new advertising campaign. It comes with the strapline “Heavyweights since 1934”, referencing the year the bookmaker was founded. It has launched this weekend and the ads are being shown in cinemas and on billboards rather than simply on TV around sporting events. “Our current brand narrative is ‘enjoy the moment’ and this new creative shows AJ landing a knockout blow before enjoying the moment as everything freezes while he dances around the stadium before returning to the ring to the adulation of his fans,” said marketing director Charlotte Emery. “The story emphasises how William Hill want all our customers to enjoy their betting with us and celebrate the moments while staying in control. We opted for black and white and a highly stylised creative to really separate this creative in tone and quality from the rest of the sector.”

Yet William Hill has been dealt a blow. The campaign was designed to run for six weeks and culminate in his big fight on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. However, that fight is now off as his opponent, Jerell Miller, has failed a drugs test. Joshua now must try to find another opponent. William Hill suffered another blow when an American punter scooped $1.2 million in his first ever sports bet. James Adducci placed $85,000 on Tiger Woods to win the Masters at the SLS Casino in Las Vegas, and the return represents the biggest payout Hills’ US division has ever made. However, the bookmaker was just pleased rival Francesco Molinari did not win after finding the water twice on the final round. “I have to say that Tiger did us a bit of a favour by edging out Molinari, who would have been a terrible result for us,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

Betfair and Paddy Power have cut the odds on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being the next Premier League boss to lose his job to 12/1. The Norwegian was only given the manager’s job on a permanent basis a few weeks ago, but it has been a disastrous period at Old Trafford. They were thrashed 4-0 when they played Everton on Sunday and that was Solskjaer’s sixth defeat in eight games. The honeymoon period is well and truly over. Chris Hughton, manager of struggling Brighton, is the favourite to be the next boss axed, but Solskjaer has seen his odds drop with most bookies and he is now the second favourite. Betfair has also slashed the odds on Donald Trump being impeached in the way of the Mueller Report.

Betfred is the latest British bookmaker to bid to crack America, where the sports betting market is opening up after PASPA was struck down. The firm, which has 1,600 retail betting shops across the UK, launched a suite of managed sports betting and trading products at the Sports Betting America 2019 convention at the Meadowlands in New Jersey this week. “The entire team is energized by the opportunity to bring the totality of our experience and technology to the diverse and innovative US sports wagering leaders who are responding to the tremendous opportunity these markets present,” said managing director Mark Stebbing. Betfred also prevailed in an Advertising Standards Authority case after it received a complaint about its bingo ad. The complainant claimed the ad had “normalised gambling”, but the bookmaker launched a staunch defence and the ASA ruled in Betfred’s favour.