The Centrebet Stadium in Penrith, Sydney is now called Sportingbet Stadium, a renaming strategy of top ranking UK bookmaker William Hill. The move is aimed at reinforcing sponsorship for the Penrith Panthers and support for the Australian National Rugby League. The William Hill Group gained the naming rights to the sports arena last year, when it acquired Sportingbet and its secondary online sports betting brand Centrebet.
Sportingbet CEO Michael Sullivan voiced his confidence on the company’s decision to banner the Sportingbet brand as the new name of the 22,500-capacity Penrith stadium. The results of research undertakings, and the opinions gathered from bookmakers, provided sufficient basis in establishing Sportingbet as the stronger rugby league-betting brand to use for promotional purposes.
Technically, Centrebet is the holder of the 5-year naming rights and sponsorship deal with the Penrith Punters, which was contracted in January 2011. However, close rival Sportingbet, regarded as one of the leading online sports booking facilities operating in Australia’s regulated market, came to acquire the online bookmaker’s entire operations in March 2011.
Still, the Centrebet buy-out was not enough to give Sportingbet the much-needed advantage as a competitor to hard-to-beat rival Sportsbet, a premier online betting facility owned by one of Europe’s leading bookmakers Paddy Power.
In March 2013, UK bookmaker William Hill agreed to acquire Sportingbet’s sports wagering division including its Centrebet operations. After all, a Sportingbet-Centrebet tandem presented the most lucrative platform, which UK-based William Hill can use in extending its sports betting offerings to Aussie punters.