William Hill Sponsorship of the Australian Open Scaled Back
William Hill Australia will no longer have brand exposure courtside at the Australian Open since the Tennis Australia (TA) national governing body announced they would be dropping courtside advertisements.
According to Tennis Australia President Steve Healey, the decision was made in response to the backlash received when TA signed a sponsorship agreement for the Australian Open tennis championship with William Hill in October last year, making them the first gambling company to sponsor the major grand slam tournament. The deal was estimated to be worth around $5 million to Tennis Australia.
As a result of the agreement, William Hill was able to promote in-play betting during the championship and saw a jump in online in-play betting turnover and a large increase in market share. Specifically, the company reported that the deal resulted in a 200 percent increase in tennis turnover and registration of around 14,000 new customers in the two week period following the deal.
However, with a recent increase in match-fixing and integrity issues facing tennis worldwide, anti-gambling organisations and officials have expressed their concern that Tennis Australia has strengthened its relationship with a gambling organisation. The ads were to appear during the Australian Open which is scheduled to play from January 16-29, 2017, but will now not feature on or around the tennis courts.
While Healey did not confirm if the move would lead to a severing of the sponsorship agreement or loss of sponsorship revenue, he said that William Hill supported the decision and is backing the sport’s anti-corruption campaign.
“We need to put it in perspective; the arrangements that were struck with William Hill before this issue had such a high profile and so we’ve worked with our partners to address that,” stated Healey.
March 30, 2017