William Hill's grip on the top of UK iGaming has slipped, but a series of deft responses has the company looking good all the same.
The surprising rejection of a recent merger offer from the 888 and Rank had pundits scratching their heads a bit, made all the more confusing by the quick sack of top boss James Henderson.
Dealing With It
The seemingly cataclysmic response of ousting their top executive after 30 years of faithful service was a proactive response to the company's underperformance with Henderson at the helm--in a time in which William Hill was looking to get ahead after feeling the heat from online supermergers that had caught the land-based UK gaming leader in online bookmaker revenue rankings.
The fact is, while William Hill is looking for its new comfort zone with the explosion of online betting, it continues to make moves to strengthen its position in land/based activity nonetheless.
To wit, August has started off on a positive note with William Hill's signing of a two-year agreement with EPL's Everton to become the Club’s Official European Betting Partner. The innovative deal calls for William Hill to offer a variety of exclusive competitions and betting enhancements to customers, with Everton fans being the direct beneficiaries. For two years, the William Hill name will be featured prominently on Everton LED screens and of course in the home stadium.
Grand Parade Acquisition
Now, the company has announced the acquisition of ten years old Grand Parade, a London England based app, website and commerce platforms architect for some of the world’s largest gambling operator brands. The deal is worth £13.5 million (€16 million/$17.9 million).
Integration Well Underway
New interim Phillip Hill CEO Philip Bowcock commented that “bringing the Grand Parade team into William Hill will rapidly ramp up the scale of our development team...to support the work with OpenBet to build our new back-end platform.”
Clearly, William Hill are rapidly building up their online presence and capacities alongside new high profile land-based sponsorship agreements.
And what is more prominent in the UK than the Premier League? For William Hill's latest trick (and third of the young month), they have bagged the EPL's Tottenham Hotspurs in a second sponsorship agreement giving William Hill a presence across Hotspur digital channels, pitchside advertising boards and in-stadium betting services on each matchday.
William Hill may have lost the top spot, but they are not willing to relinquish their status.