Sunday July 20,2014 : MORE AUSTRALIAN SPONSORSHIPS FOR A.F.L.?
Possible A$350 million a year market interesting for online sportsbook operators.
When Australian gambling giant Tabcorp's exclusive four-year sponsorship deal with the nation's AFL football organisation ends this year, there could be radical changes to the sponsorship scene as online bookmaking companies vie for a share in the market, conservatively estimated to be worth around A350 million a year.
The Australian newspaper The Age reported over the weekend that William Hill's Australian division, now headed by the experienced and Aussie-savvy Tom Waterhouse, and BetEasy, an internet sports book founded by equally experienced industry veteran Mark Tripp, will be angling for involvement as sponsors in seven-figure deals.
Tripp told the newspaper: "I am told the AFL is looking to restructure [the partnership] whereby it won't be inclusive to one particular betting operator. There will be several allowed to put their hand up and be part of that mix.
"I will certainly be one of them that will be putting my hand up. Providing the commercial terms are reasonable, I will throw my hat in the ring for sure."
But Tabcorp won't give up its advantage easily; the company's chief wagering officer, Craig Nugent, says he wants to extend his current exclusive agreement.
“TAB has been an AFL partner since 2006 and, as Australia’s most trusted wagering brand, we’ve been a good partner for the AFL," he told The Age. "On that basis we’ll be looking at extending the partnership for 2015 and beyond."
Tripp bought Sportsbet in 2005 for $250,000 and sold it in 2011 for $380 million to Paddy Power, and he wants to ensure that his new venture, BetEasy becomes a market leader.
The AFL contract carries with it influence in television, internet live streaming and radio networking, making it all the more enticing for major online and mobile bookmaking firms.
Any agreements come with some restrictive obligations; for example the AFL can veto certain bet types to protect the game's integrity.