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End of Sportingbet and Tom Waterhouse brands as William Hill launches locally

William Hill

The Sportingbet and Tom Waterhouse brands are set to be wiped out with UK bookmaker William Hill confirming it is launching locally with a $10m brand push.

Customers for all three of its Australian businesses, Sportingbet, Centrebet and TomWaterhouse.com will be migrated to the William Hill platform, with Sportingbet the first to go ahead of the Autumn Racing Carnival and the NRL and AFL seasons.

Mumbrella reported in November the bookmaker was searching for a creative agency ahead of a local launch. A spokesperson for William Hill confirmed a Sydney-based agency has been appointed but declined to reveal who with ClemengerBBDO Sydney since confirmed as its agency.

Centrebet customers will be migrated across later in the year and TomWaterhouse.com expected to change early next year.

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 last 18 months. We have a passionate and experienced management team in place, a strong internal technology capability and a more effective approach to marketing.

“We are continuing to improve the user experience – particularly in mobile – and are vastly expanding the product range to bring Australian customers a differentiated and exciting experience.”

Waterhouse courted controversy by starring in an aggressive brand push in 2012, leading to the TV regulator to bring in new rules around gambling advertising and its link to punditry.

Miranda Ward

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