Ladbrokes to Title Sponsor Scottish Professional Football League


Ladbrokes, a world leader in online betting and gaming, has announced that it has entered into a deal in terms of which it will become the new title sponsor of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

The deal between Ladbrokes and SPFL will run for a period of two years, from the 2015-16 through to the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

The Scottish Professional Football League, which operates the top four divisions in the country, has been without a main sponsor ever since it was formulated in June of last year through a merger between the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League.

The new Ladbrokes deal, will however, see the four leagues that are covered by the SPFL being known as the Ladbrokes Premiership, Ladbrokes Championship, Ladbrokes League 1 and Ladbrokes League 2.

In terms of the deal, Ladbrokes will also have rights across all four leagues and 42 clubs and the company plans to use these various rights in order to host a number of activations.

Prior to the confirmation of Ladbrokes’ new deal, Betfred, a rival bookmaker, had also been linked with possible sponsorship of the SPFL.

Neil Doncaster, the Chief Executive of SPFL, stated that as an established and respected leading brand in its very competitive marketplace, Ladbrokes is a perfect partner for the SPFL and that they have a shared vision of a positive future for professional league football in Scotland.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ladbrokes, Jim Mullen, added that this new partnership will help to propel Ladbrokes and the SPFL to new heights and will put them at the heart of Scottish football throughout the year.

Betway Becomes Latest Operator to Sign up with European Sports Security Association

Betway, one of the leading online bookmakers, has revealed that it has become the 19th company to sign up to become a member of European Sports Security Association (ESSA), the global integrity body for the regulated betting industry.

The bookmaker will now join companies such as William Hill, Ladbrokes and PMU who have also signed up to support the European Sports Security Association, a non-profit organization that monitors irregular betting patterns for possible instances of event manipulation and endeavors to flag up suspicious betting in sports. Betway has now become a full participant in ESSA’s reporting system.

Betway’s move to sign up to ESSA follows a major marketing push from the operator that has seen it secure partnership and sponsorship deals with a number of properties in the United Kingdom.

Richard Akitt, the Chief Executive at Betway, said that ESSA provides the market leaders in regulated sports wagering with an effective, globally recognized cross-border platform and that it was a common sense move for them to align with other stakeholders in order to combat the threat of irregular and illegal betting activity.

According to Khalid Adi, the secretary general at ESSA, they are delighted that Betway has decided to join ESSA along with other responsible operators in taking a robust and proactive approach to tackling a crime that attacks the heart of sport and consumer confidence. Adi added that it represents another important step, further increasing ESSA’s ability to protect the betting industry, their customers and sport from betting related corruption.

Proposal to End Online Gambling Exemptions for US Horse Racing Industry

There has been a furor in the American horse racing industry ever since two US Congressmen, Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Representative Joe Pitts (R-Pa) introduced a proposal in the House and the Senate seeking to end the industry’s legislative status with regard to gambling exemptions.

According to a report in the industry publication Horse Talk, the two lawmakers appear to be “having a crack at the American racing industry in what appears to be a “big stick” tactic aimed at reining in what the pair describes as chronic abuse of performance-enhancing drugs and corruption.”

The congressmen’s proposal endeavors to repeal the Interstate Horse-racing Act of l978 and putting the brakes on approximately 90% of the $US11 billion that is wagered on American racing each year.

The US National Thoroughbred Racing Association is not enthusiastic about the bill and feels that it is a shameless publicity stunt.

Alex Waldrop, the president and chief executive of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said that they strongly oppose this recent attack on horse-racing. He added that the bill can potentially destroy the economic viability of the $US 26 billion horse-racing industry and the 380,000 jobs that it supports nationwide.

The President and Chief Operating Officer of the US Jockey Club, James Gagliano said that the Interstate Horse-racing Act of 1978 is the lifeblood of the industry and that they strongly oppose any effort made to repeal it. He added that as an organization, the Jockey Club firmly believes that horses should only compete when they are free from the influence of medication.

Despite the fact that the two legislators have acknowledged that their bill would be the end to 90% of the $US11 billion wagered on horse-racing they are adamant that it is time to crack down on corruption by ending horse-racing’s “sweetheart” gambling privileges and that they must stop the abuse and restore integrity to this once dignified sport.

The legislation is due to end a federal exception for gambling on horse-racing.

New Marketing Chief Joins Sports Betting Giant

Paddy Power, the Irish Sports Betting giant, has revealed that it has ended its search for a marketing boss to replace Christian Woolfenden, who was promoted to Managing Director of Retail for UK and Ireland at the end of last year. The group is pleased to announce that it has now appointed Gav Thompson as its Chief Marketing Officer, who will join Paddy Power in June, 2015.

Thompson was formerly the global director of business innovation at Telefonica where he spent seven years in posts that included director of marketing innovation for Telefonica and 02 head of UK brand strategy. He is a marketer who comes with 20 years’ experience working with brands that include PlayStation, 02, Pepsi, Guinness, Toyota, agency and client-side. His most recent role was Chief Marketing Officer of customer engagement technology business Thunderhead.

The new Chief Marketing Officer has also worked at agencies that include TBWA/London, and also founded Giffgaff in 2009.

According to a spokesperson for Paddy Power this week, Thompson will be responsible for “the strategic direction of the Paddy Power brand, entertaining our customers and wowing them with our differentiated product.”

Thompson revealed that he has always been a huge fan of the Paddy Power brand as it is overflowing with creativity, disruption, innovation, entertainment and mischief. He added that to be asked to be Chief Marketing Officer of such a unique proposition is a real honor. Thompson also said that this is his perfect job and he cannot wait to get cracking.

Paddy Power’s chief executive, Andy McCue, said that he is thrilled to welcome Gav to Paddy Power. He added that he has world-class marketing talent and his passion for customers, brand experiences and innovation matches perfectly with Paddy Power’s.

Microgaming Health & Care Trust Sponsors Visit from Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club

The Isle of Man saw representatives from Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club deliver taster sessions and workshops last week in order to launch the Island’s first club for this sport.

Powerchair Football is an exciting sport for adults and children who suffer from physical disabilities and caters for a vast range of physical disablements which include multiple sclerosis, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, stroke and spinal cord injuries.

The Isle of Man Strategy for Sport 2014 – 2014 endeavors to enhance people’s lives by enabling them to enjoy regular and sustainable participation in physical activity.

Weekly Powerchair Football sessions will be led by the Manx Sport and Recreation’s Sport Development Unit during term-time in order to provide individuals who suffer from severe physical disabilities with sport.

Zoe Crowe, of the Sports Development Unit, revealed that Microgaming Health & Care Trust had sponsored the visit from the Middlesborough team who delivered an excellent introduction to this fast growing sport. He added that everyone had the chance to learn the rules and to gain insight into various session ideas as well as information about club development, which is very important as they launch the new club. Crowe also said that with the support from the Trust, the Sports Development Unit has been able to purchase specific equipment which includes coaching equipment, bumpers and footballs.

The first session of the Powerchair Football Club will take place on Friday, 1st May from 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm at the National Sports Centre in Douglas and thereafter every Friday during term time at the same time and place.