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The Grand National: bookies, beers and broadcasters back the big race


By Gillian West, Social media manager

April 5, 2013 | 4 min read

Four and a half miles long with 40 horses taking part, no it’s not the ultimate Tesco freezer but the one and only John Smith’s Grand National.

Taking place Saturday 6 April at 4:15pm the likes of Roberto Goldblack, Harry the Viking, Mr Moonshine and Major Malarkey will all race for glory, and like most sporting events the Grand National is more lucrative to a marketer than The Drum’s office sweepstake.

Here we take a look at just some campaigns surrounding tomorrow’s big race.

Channel 4 - Horse Tracker App

The Channel 4 Horse Tracker second screen app allows viewers to track the position and speed of the horses taking part in the Grand National and other races taking place at Aintree this weekend. Available from the App Store, the app uses Monterosa’s LVis second screen technology and TurfTrax data to collate live race information and synchronise it with the TV coverage of the race. The horse tracker follows the position of the horses, speed, distance to the next horse and the all-important finish line. The app can be used to track just one or many horses – depending how big your betting slip is.

BetVictor - Grand National Fling Finder

Choosing a runner for the Grand National can be a daunting prospect for racing fanatics and casual punters alike which is why bookmaker BetVictor has launched its Grand National Fling Finder to help everyone find their perfect equine match. A short, light-hearted personality test covering age, fitness and love of socialising on BetVictor’s Facebook page finds the right Grand National horse for you with just six short questions. The Fling Finder also includes the latest odds with BetVictor offering ¼ odds on six places for the third year running.

John Smith's - Puntometer

John Smith’s has targeted pub drinkers in the run up to the Grand National with a specialised sweepstake kit devised by Space. More than 8,000 pubs and clubs nationwide have been bedecked in John Smith’s branded sweepstake posters and John Smith’s No Nonsense Puntometer’s, a specially designed beer mat created to help drinkers pick their horse. Each beer mat features the numbers of the horses in the race, to find your match all you need to do is punch a pen through the middle and spin the coater to reveal your lucky number. John Smith’s will also be present on the day at Aintree with a roaming team wearing specially designed backpacks holding giant Puntometers to help race goers select their horse.

BETDAQ - Turf War

Global betting exchange BETDAQ has used the Grand National to wage war on rival Betfair, parking its tanks firmly on their lawn. An army of BETDAQ foot soldiers are set to patrol Aintree outside the course, warning punters off using Betfair. BETDAQ, which was recently taken over by Ladbrokes, has claimed that it offers “a better, fairer deal” than Betfair adding “as far as we’re concerned we’ve declared a turf war on our rival, more expensive exchanges”.

Coral - #jockeysonjetskis Coral National

Bookmaker Coral decided to stage its own Grand National substituting horses for jet skis on the River Mersey. The 500m race saw the jet skis dressed up to look like horses, with their ‘jockeys’ donning the same colours as the real ones taking part in tomorrow’s race. A total of 20 competitors took part in the alternative Coral National, with the rider representing Daryl Jacob crossing the finish line first. Coral said it staged the stunt to help punters decide who to put their money on for the real deal.

Grand National BETDAQ Channel 4

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