Analysis

Caesars opts to keep two sports brands

Caesars Entertainment has clarified its branding plans once it completes the William Hill acquisition.

Caesars Entertainment took the opportunity of last Friday’s third-quarter earnings call to clarify its plans on branding once it has taken control of William Hill in the US.

The $2.9bn acquisition is likely to be completed next year and will see Caesars take control of the US operation for William Hill.

At the same time, the company will seek to offload the UK and international side of the business.

Once they take hold of the reins, Caesars will then have another sports-betting and online gaming brand to add to the Caesars name.

“You should expect that we will use the Caesars brand for Caesars owned and operated properties,” said CEO Tom Reeg. “And for third-party properties, you should expect that the William Hill brand will live on in the U.S.”

Brand values

Elsewhere on the call, Reeg pointed out that prior to the deal with Caesars, the then Eldorado did the deal with William Hill knowing that the Eldorado brand was “unlikely to play on a national basis”.

But subsequently, with Caesars wrapped up, the company now has a brand name that does resonate nationwide.

Reeg said Caesars also decided at this point that controlling its own destiny became a priority.

Currently the Wedge Index sportsbook weightings both Caesars and William Hill position the brands as second-tier names. 

Points are awarded for each competitor that does business within the state and as it stands each of Caesars and William Hill are worth three points.

Reeg told the analysts that Caesars was now on a mission to “build market share profitably” and make the customers are “sticky as possible”.

“Obviously there are a lot of companies out there who are looking for share of wallet and screen time on your phone,” he said.

He predicted more partnerships such as between ESPN and Caesars, including more deals involving his own company.

“If there were a partnership or a transaction that would improve our position and we could execute it in a manner that was that created additional debt value for our stakeholders we would certainly take a serious look.”

Recovery time

Caesars said it was now live in Pennsylvania and would be live in Michigan very soon. “We’re rolling out more product and more games as every day and week passes,” CFO Brett Yunker told analysts. 

“So we’re expecting to see incremental opportunities in 2021 as these new products are rolled out.”

Reeg said there was “a lot of noise” in the third quarter earnings statement given the Eldorado take over and the intended William Hill deal.

Caesars saw a 52% rise in net revenue but a net loss of $926m during the third quarter as the land-based casino business struggled to recover from the worst of the pandemic lockdowns.

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Scott Longley

Scott Longley has been a journalist since the early noughties covering personal finance, sport and the gambling industry. He has worked for a number of publications including Investor's Week, Bloomberg Money, Football First, EGR and GamblingCompliance.com. He now writes for online and print titles across a wide range of sectors.

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