BUSINESS

Tatts launches new UBET brand, denies Tabcorp takeover reports

TAGs: Australia, Robbie Cooke, Tabcorp, Tatts Group, ubet

tatts-group-ubet-launchAustralian betting and lotteries operator Tatts Group has officially launched its new UBET betting brand.

On Wednesday, Tatts threw a party in Sydney to mark the official birth of UBET, into which Tatts has folded its Tattsbet, Tatts.com, TAB and Tote brands. The choice of Sydney was interesting for the Brisbane-based Tatts, given that Sydney is the home of retail betting rival Tabcorp, so consider this a shot across the bow.

The rebrand was accompanied by the launch of the new UBET website, smartphone and iPad apps. Work is already underway on the physical rebranding of Tatts’ 1,200 retail outlets, a process estimated to take between three to five years, although that pace could be quickened if business exceeds expectations.

To ensure UBET got off to the proper roaring start, Tatts announced a new exclusive wagering partnership with Aussie touring car racing outfit V8 Supercars. The two-year deal gives UBET naming rights to the UBET Victory Lane for selected races, a broadcast presence and on-track and digital brand integration. The deal’s first fruits will be evident this weekend when UBET becomes title sponsor of the Perth SuperSprint at Barbagallo Raceway.

V8 Supercars veteran Greg Murphy has also signed on at UBET’s motorsport ambassador, just one of many sports greats UBET has enlisted to promote the brand. UBET’s new ‘League of Legends’ includes National Rugby League icon Nathan Sharpe, former rugby union star Anthony Minichiello, Aussie rules footballer Jonathan Brown and former ESPN host Jason Bennett. UBET has also inked sponsorships with the Port Adelaide Football Club and Melbourne City Football Club.

Tatts CEO Robbie Cooke said his firm hadn’t previously engaged in much wagering marketing but it was time to be “out there actually fighting back. In Australia, we are the largest non-casino gambling group. It is time to start behaving as the market leader.”

Cooke said Tatts’ recent 30-year monopoly deal with Queensland Racing had freed up $15m that Tatts could blow on marketing without any effect on its bottom line. Cooke said Tatts could spend more than $15m depending on how things progress.

Cooke also poured cold water on a report this week in The Australian that Tabcorp was mulling a takeover of Tatts’ wagering operations. Sources had claimed plans were afoot for a merger that would create a $2b company but Cooke told the Sydney Morning Herald that he had “not had any conversations with anybody about our wagering asset.”

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