Paddy Power Betfair’s first-half revenue was up 7% in the first half of 2018. The Paddy Power brand (sister of Betfair), in particular, touted marketing as the means with which it seized back a reducing market share.
Paddy Power is a brand keen to market to those traditionally outside of the gambling sector rather than competing for the same base with rivals. Its recent marketing activations have shown as much.
In its half-year earnings announcement, PP highlighted, in particular, how its social good efforts to drive the brand.
From (pretending to) graffiti a polar bear to highlight conservation efforts to donating money to the Attitude Foundation every time anti-LGBT Russia scored at the World Cup, Paddy Power has attached purpose to its comms.
During the announcement, execs from the bookie admitted it lost market share over the last few years and briefed its marketing team to “increase the relevance of messaging by more closely linking it to topical news content and leveraging the brand's distinct personality and social media presence”. The goal was to great new “recreational customers” and find ways to retain them.
This resulted in the brand taking on VAR at the World Cup, backing LGBT causes at the tournament and Brighton Pride and mocking drunken behaviour at the Royal Ascot. In particular, the Rainbow Russians activation at the World Cup regularly saw Paddy Power as the most-cited betting brand in the UK in the World Cup and the sixth brand globally behind the likes of the expected official sponsors and sportswear providers.
Peter Jackson, chief executive of Paddy Power Betfair, said: “Recent marketing campaigns have also been successful with the Betfair brand increasingly identified as having the best odds. The World Cup was a showcase event for Paddy Power, with a series of successfully executed marketing campaigns leading to it being one of the UK's most talked about brands in social media conversations around the tournament.”
These marketing activations have their price. In the first half of 2017, spend was at £166m, contrasting with £187m in 2018. In the same period, total revenue was up from £827m to £867m. It estimates it made £45m profit from World Cup activity.
Online revenue up was up 13%, (sports 12% and gaming 14%).
Below are some of the efforts that the brand thinks helped to deliver growth, chiefly, the Brighton activity, the Polar Bear Stunt and the VAR video.