E-gaming Advertising – Celebrity Works
By Warwick Bartlett
Loveable East End ‘geezer’ Ray Winstone’s appearance on the BBC’s satirical current affairs programme Have I Got News For You neatly demonstrates the power of brand and advertising and will have pleased online betting firm Bet365 greatly.

During the 30-minute programme on primetime Friday night billing they mocked up the Bet365 TV advertisements offering odds on certain events, without the Bet365 logo of course, but most viewers will have associated them with the Bet365 adverts, so ubiquitous have they been.
Bet365’s adverts use Winstone as the central character to promote in-play betting and live streaming of sports events.

The resurgance of 888.com is also worthy of note. 

The adverts are classy and feature former Australian cricketer Shane Warne who, under the influence of Liz Hurley, looks not only thinner but fitter.
When the law changed in the UK to allow e-gaming companies to advertise on TV some of the adverts were dire. But they have come a long way since then. 32Red’s farmer with his ‘gambling potatoes’ and pimped tractor is light hearted and inoffensive. 
32Red’s revenue was up 28% in 2012 but profits were down slightly.
Bwin have capitalised on their sponsorship of Real Madrid and Inter Milan. In the Premiership Bet365 sponsor Stoke City, 12bet sponsor Wigan Athletic, and Genting Casinos sponsor Aston Villa. Some companies, however, have tried shirt sponsorship but seen their deals come to an end for one reason or another e.g. Mansion, 32Red, SBOBET, and Bodog.
Shirt sponsorship ties up capital for the duration of the contract whereas TV advertising runs only for the duration of the campaign giving management more control.
But, the use of celebrity in advertising works, as the Coates family’s (owners of Bet365) position in the 2013 Sunday Times Rich List can testify. 

Mixed Messages from E-gaming Directors 
According to the Financial Times two directors of Bwin.Party purchased shared to the value of £736,054 in March 2013. On the same day the FT reported a sale of £697,500 for directors of 888.
It is said that the directors of companies know more about the prospects of the company than anyone else. So director purchases and sales are watched closely by the market. To be fair 888 shares have had a good run up 106% in twelve months. Bwin. Party on the other hand are down nearly 13% but with the prospects of the U.S. opening up the directors clearly think the shares are undervalued. We shall see.