Ladbrokes Coral puts racing sponsorships “high on the list” to keep

Ladbrokes Coral puts racing sponsorships “high on the list” to keep

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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The Group was reacting to what FOBT cuts may mean for the industry

Ladbrokes Coral has denied that it will be reducing its sports sponsorship spend, instead saying that it "could not be ruled out" as a natural consequence of the severe cuts to maximum FOBT stakes.

Last weekend, BBC News reported that Ladbrokes Coral has threatened to cut the £8m it spends each year on sponsoring sports events, if the government decides to cut stakes permitted on the controversial gaming machines from the current £100 maximum.

However, the Group’s Communications Director Donal McCabe has clarified the comments made to the BBC, which he said were given as an answer to what a stake cut may mean for the industry.

He said: "A severe stake cut has many implications not least on jobs, the treasury and the sports we support. While racing would be more concerned over the impact on the likes of the levy and media rights, all sports would be concerned about the potential impact on sponsorship, as budgets would undoubtedly get tightened.”

"Sports sponsorship is a two-way street,” McCabe added. “Yes, we get exposure, but it also helps sports finance their entire structures right down to grass roots funding. Severe stake reductions contain the possibility that bookmakers have to trim their budget and for some sports that could make their options much more limited."

"Horse racing is in the bookie DNA and some sponsorships and partnerships go back many years and have a history and association that make them very valuable and high on the list to continue. But undoubtedly the pot of money will come under pressure and lower down the ranks, of all sports, pain may be felt."

Almost £3.5m of Ladbrokes Coral’s sports sponsorship is dedicated to horseracing, with major events such as the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival, the Coral Scottish and Welsh Grand Nationals, the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, the Coral Eclipse and the Coral Sprint at York. The Group’s portfolio also includes Rugby League’s Challenge Cup and the Scottish Professional Football League.

Totally Gaming says: Ladbrokes Coral has not ruled out the prospect of making cuts to its sponsorship spend, particularly if FOBT maximum stakes are reduced to £2, but disputed the directness of the BBC’s headline. The company also suggested that horse racing was less vulnerable to potential sponsorship cuts than other sports, despite racing’s stronger connection to the high street shop.

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