Tote brand-building a priority
We’re now just weeks away from another key stage in the life of the Tote.
Just under a year ago a much-needed agreement was reached between the Britbet racecourse consortium to work with the BetFred owned Tote and offer a single pool, rather than having two separate, liquidity diluting, pools.
A key factor in the cooperation was the 25% share of the Tote acquired by Alizeti, with a plan to increase their shareholding and become the outright owners of the Tote. That’s an event due to take a major step forward at the end of October.
It has, however, been a relatively quiet 12 months, but matters gathered momentum this month when Alizeti (under the public-facing banner of Together for the Tote), made two significant appointments.
Rob Painter joined as Chief Marketing Officer, having most recently been at Sky Betting and Gaming where he had a dual role as Managing Director for People and Brand.
Dani Johnson will start in October as Head of Partnerships, and joins from William Hill where she is responsible for service across the company’s shop estate.
For Painter, a lot of work is going to be needed on the brand. It’s a bit all over the place.
In terms of imagery, the Tote look is very much akin to Betfred and basking in whatever brand value that entails. There are also echoes of the old Tote logo, with a small t, used for the different pool bets.
At racecourses some of the signage reflects the Betfred brand, but in places there are still signs of the old tote logo. At Goodwood, there’s little differentiating Tote and betting shop outlets. And, of course, Ascot went its own way and the word Tote is non-existent.
But first, that expansion of its shareholding needs to be completed by Alizeti. An announcement is due at the end of October that the money has been raised yet, without that, the branding is the least of their worries.
It didn’t look good for Haydock’s Saturday fixture when racing was washed-out mid-way through the preceding afternoon and, sure enough, racing was abandoned after a morning inspection.
It wasn’t good for Virgin Bet either. They’d sponsored most of the card, including two races on ITV4, as part of their marketing activity to build awareness of their entry into the sportsbook arena.
It’s difficult enough trying to get a foothold in the betting market, let alone having a major element of your promotional push being wiped out.
Meanwhile, ITV switched to Chester where the Mr & Mrs Wilson Handicap got more exposure than was expected.
Moss Bros, synonymous with gentlemen’s attire at Royal Ascot, have announced that they are developing an “ecosuit”, primarily made from plastic bottles.
The intended selling price is £159.
It would be interesting to see if the concept can be extended to the formal wear required for the Royal Enclosure.
Judging by this year’s Royal meeting, the first two days of wet weather could well have suited a plastic-based morning suit. But, the rising temperatures for the rest of the meeting puts into question just how comfortable such garb might be.