As we speak bookmakers throughout the UK are being swamped with bets on the Cheltenham Festival, biting their nails and soiling their pants over the prospect of Dunguib winning the opening race of the meeting and losing them millions.
But the bookies with the ability to stick their head above the parapet and stay one step ahead of the game are those that thrive in the competitive world of oddsmaking. So full credit to Victor Chandler, who today launched their 2010 football World Cup microsite.
The Greatest Show On Earth doesn’t get under way for another three months but VC have stolen a march on the opposition by creating a microsite that is entirely devoted to the South African tournament.
The Gibraltar-based bookmaker has pulled out a really sleek offering, designed in the sharp VC livery and providing the punter with the basics he needs to know from a betting angle without cramming the site with too much information on one page.
You can find out about the Stadiums, the Tournament itself and the Teams, where there is a basic profile of each competing nation, their star player and how they reached the finals. The outright odds, match odds and group betting are also straightforward enough to find.
These sort of bookmaker-commissioned projects invariably look like a half-baked dog’s dinner, given that their primary concern is taking bets rather providing sexy content, but VC have worked out that image and branding goes a long way when you’re trying to stand apart – particularly in a tournament which often turns non-betting sports-lovers into punt-crazed lunatics.
“Our team of experts got together to produce a detailed analysis covering every team and group plus key players and venue guides,” said VC spokesman Neal Wilkins. “Online betting is available directly from the site, and coming soon we’ll also have our World Cup blog so stay tuned for more updates and info as the countdown to June 11th continues.”
If the blog is any good then the microsite will really work, because it will differ from the other established quality sports blogs out there, such as the Guardian’s for example, by talking about football from a betting perspective and building up a football betting community.
If you compare the new site to, say, Ladbrokes, where you have to go on to the main site, find the football pages, then the world cup page, and then scroll down for half an hour before finding the bet you want and have no recourse to background information, then it’s on a different planet entirely.
Other sites will probably try a similar ploy, but VC – who are also looking to make a good first impression on South Africa where they have been gratned a licence to operate, have beaten them to the punch and done so with a simple but impressive offering.