If you’ve been keeping tabs on what new Formula One owners Liberty Media have been up to, you may have seen that they signed a lucrative $100m deal with Interregional Sports Group (ISG) back in September to sell sponsorship rights to bookmakers and casinos over the next five years. Previous owner Bernie Ecclestone didn’t entertain any moves whatsoever to introduce this kind of sponsorship and advertising when he was at the helm over the last 40 years, but it’s out with the old and in with the new as far as F1 is concerned.
Live Formula One Betting – How Could It Look.
Picture this. Ray Winstone on your TV screen during the race advising you in his deep cockney accent on the odds of Lewis Hamilton winning the British Grand Prix in July after a poor start sends him down to 10th on lap one. Wonderful.
Speaking of the British World Champion, he’s got to be worth a punt to secure another title after such an impressive 2018 campaign, hasn’t he? All of the popular UK bookies such as 888Sport, Will Hill, Ladbrokes and Betfair have priced up the 2019 F1 Championship outright market, and he’s understandably a favourite. Why not use a bonus when placing 888Sport bet to enjoy an increased stake? A bigger stake means a bigger potential return. What’s not to love? If you think the Stevenage born driver will win his sixth title, use their appealing bonus and enjoy more winnings when he’s victorious again in 2019!
Regardless of what happens during the 2019 title race, bookies and casinos will love their new venture into F1’s sponsorship world. Or will they?
What if we told you that the UK have ruined their plans? No, it’s nothing to do with Brexit. This historic deal was seen as a great chance to improve the overall live experience for a fan, but the biggest bookies have voluntarily agreed to halt all adverts during live sports broadcasts, thus essentially rendering Liberty Media’s huge $100m deal useless in the UK.
The Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising is looked at every year in the UK, and, after strong consideration, it’s been agreed that a ban will be in place from the 2019 season that prohibits the use of betting adverts during live sporting events. This is great news from the perspective of safer gambling, but not so good news if you’ve just spent a massive sum of money on a deal in the hope that live F1 betting becomes a huge part of every racing fan’s life from 2019 onwards.
What are the Full Details of the Agreement?
For a start, no betting adverts will be shown before 21:00. A watershed moment if you like. This will essentially mean no F1 races will fall beyond this time in the UK, so no live betting for UK punters. Lights went out at 19:10 UK time for the last US Grand Prix, so the Canadian, Mexican and Brazilian GPs will suffer a similar pre 21:00 fate.
As part of the overall package agreed between Liberty and ISG, betting sponsors will get the chance to advertise on electronic boards at numerous tracks. They’ll also have the opportunity to display graphics on-screen.
Will they move any race times in the future? Who knows. What we do know is that Liberty Media will probably have to enjoy sponsorship from Internationally renowned brands. As much as UK only bookies and casinos may have wanted a slice of the F1 sponsorship pie, it doesn’t seem an attractive proposition.
There’s no doubt we will see a significant change for a sport where betting will go from being an afterthought to a main feature of each race weekend experience. It remains to be seen how UK bookies and casinos can benefit from the new agreement now that new regulations have been put in place regarding live tv ads, but the bigger international brands will be encouraged by the new opportunities.
Vodafone and McLaren Mercedes, Camel and Canon with Williams, Ferrari with Marlboro and Shell. Some sponsors have become synonymous with the sport, but it doesn’t matter who the sponsors may be beyond 2019, one thing remains certain – Lewis Hamilton will be right in the mix for the F1 Driver’s Championship once more.