In July 2015, Kindred Group (under its former Unibet identity) acquired the online business of UK bookmaker Stan James Group. Last week, Kindred CEO Henrik Tjarnstrom revealed to the Racing Post that the Stan James Online brand wasn’t long for this world.
Tjarnstrom said Unibet would be taking over Stan James’ racing sponsorship presence, including title sponsorship of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham next March. The brand switcheroo would get underway at next month’s Elite Hurdle at Wincanton.
Kindred currently controls 14 different gambling brands, including the UK-facing 32Red online casino business, but Unibet remains the Group’s flagship property and a key component of Kindred’s UK growth strategy. Tjarnstrom said Stan James Online customers will be migrated to Unibet over the coming months.
However, 32Red will continue to have a visible presence at UK racing events, including the King George VI Chase at Kempton. Tjarnstrom said the UK was a unique market given its “cultural connection to racing,” and thus is was important for Kindred’s primary Unibet and 32Red brands to maintain strong relationships with racing fans.
In other Kindred sponsorship news, Unibet has just inked a three-year deal with the Professional Darts Corporation to replace Betway as the title sponsor of the Premier League darts tournament. The newly christened Unibet Premier League tournament will get underway in Dublin on February 1, 2018 and run for 16 weeks at events across the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, while extending the Premier League’s reach to Berlin for the first time.
Unibet further deepened its involvement in the darts world by extending its sponsorship of The Masters and the European Championship through 2018.
This summer also saw Unibet take its highest profile UK sponsorship step to date via its one-year shirt deal with Championship league footballers Aston Villa FC.