William Hill sees Australia as a target for big boost in marketing spend

William Hill has revealed it will lift its marketing spend in Australia to $58m this year, citing the market as one of the most attractive in the world and one of the “largest digital gambling markets outside the UK”.

William Hill plans big boost in ad spend in 2017

The wagering company has spent the past year rebranding its investment in Tom Waterhouse and Centrebet as William Hill and has earmarked a jump in marketing spending of 2% of its net revenue.

The boost equates to approximately $58m and will be used to try and head off other overseas companies now making a run on Australia.

A William Hill ad promoting click to call

“In Australia, recent improvement in performance has given us the confidence to consolidate our position as a challenger brand with more marketing investment,” William Hill said in its 2016 full year report.

“This will increase our marketing to net revenue in Australia from 26% in 2016 to 28% in 2017. This investment will be supported by a continued pipeline of product innovations, in which we benefit from owning our technology platform and being able to release new products faster than competitors.

“As one of the largest digital gambling markets outside the UK, this remains an attractive market but it is intensely competitive and we want to capitalise on our position as one of the leading operators.”

The gaming market has become a vital revenue pipeline for broadcasters and sports through sponsorships.

The Tom Waterhouse brand was folded into William Hill last year

Figures supplied by Standard Media Index revealed that total category spend (which includes all ads by gambling and lottery companies) grew by 12.6% in the 2016 year from 2015 to $235.4 million.

William Hill noted of the new international players, it was the only one that was profitable at this stage and needed to make the most of its position relative to overseas rivals.

The company boasts 284,000 active customers and has seen mobile revenues grow to represent 85% of all Australian revenues.

“Australia’s online betting market is already much more consolidated than in the UK, with the top five leading operators accounting for over 80% of the market,” the report said.

“A number of European operators have moved into the market in recent years, including William Hill, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Bet365. Local brands, notably Crown, have also sought to gain market share. However, unlike William Hill, most are not yet profitable.”

It noted the success of its partnership with the Australian Open in growing the brand.

“New accounts have increased strongly, up 19%, and recognition of the William Hill brand is much higher following effective advertising campaigns and our unique betting partnership with the Australian Open,” it said.


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