William Hill’s partnership with Matchroom Boxing has meant the operator has been associated with the renaissance of British heavyweight boxing, as well as the exponential rise of the Heavyweight champion of the world, Anthony Joshua.
InsiderSport Editor Joe Streeter spoke to William Hill’s Head of Media and Sponsorship Liam McKee, who underlined that the partnership with Matchroom is about far more than just branding.
How important is the Matchroom partnership, and how much does it mean to have the William Hill brand associated with some of the great moments and fighters in the sport at this time?
Liam McKee (William Hill – Head of Media & Sponsorship): The key word is partnership, this is not just a branding exercise… It’s aligned us with one of the leading boxing promoters in the world and at a time when expansion in the US is a major goal for both brands, it’s a great match.
We’ve been partnered with Matchroom now for many years, during which time British boxing – especially in the Heavyweight division – has gone through a real renaissance and come back ‘in fashion’ amongst the British public and to have been a part of this has been fantastic and helped to make us synonymous with Boxing.
Being a key part of the journey of fighters such as Anthony Joshua, who is now also a Global Ambassador for William Hill, has obviously been fantastic.
Can you tell us about some of the most successful sponsorship activations that you have had with Matchroom?
LM: To sit alongside our deal with Anthony Joshua we have created the ‘AJ Box’ which is an activation space featuring a VR training session with AJ, his belts and a punchbag machine that can be moved around the country and sit across a number of events.
We launched the ‘Box’ at the William Hill World Darts Championship and the success of the event has shown the wider appeal of AJ and boxing amongst the public:
Overall feedback for the event was highly positive with 73% rating the experience as very good. The vast majority of visitors strongly agreed that the experience was innovative fun and exciting.
The activation created a change in perceptions of William Hill. The experience significantly improved the perception of the William Hill brand among those that visited with 75% stating they felt more positive about the brand.
Will Anthony Joshua’s US expansion help William Hill grow its already strong brand presence in the States?
LM: AJ is a global superstar, someone who transcends a boxing audience. Being aligned with AJ, Matchroom and DAZN for his fight with Jarrell Miller can only help us in terms of awareness amongst the US public and strengthen our market share.
You are also a partner with IFLTV, how much does this help your brand become fully immersive in the fight week experience?
LM: It’s not just about fight week, although this is a great bonus of the partnership we have, as it helps to keep us in the conversation on a day to day basis.
The partnership works well alongside the live streaming of the Public Workout, Press Conferences and Weigh-ins and has allowed us to be targeted in the content we produce ourselves within fight week. It also provides us with access to boxing content outside of Matchroom promotions…
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