A weekend which saw four high profile sporting events take center stage has come to an end, with the Wimbledon and the Cricket World Cup final’s stealing the limelight.
Novak Djokovic fought through Wimbledon’s longest final in history to defeat Roger Federer, with England claiming the ICC World Cup after edging past New Zealand by lew of hitting more boundaries across their innings and the super over.
Bookmakers had braced themselves for ‘one of the best weekends of sport’ in the run up to the weekend, and it didn’t disappoint.
Katie Baylis of Betfair stated: “It’s rare to have such high profile events like this so close and so volatile, but we cover so many events that there are always one or two like this and traders will have experienced this many times over. Volume was fantastic, obviously we had a huge influx of bets from a typical final, but we ensured we had plenty of traders available to cover the increased business in these cases.”
Something which was clear to see with both finals was how often the control would shift between competitors. These shifts transferred almost identically onto the betting scene as Baylis explained: “There was a lot of ebb and flow on the exchange but traders react to these prices. It’s part and parcel of these high profile events.”
The constantly shifting landscape of the contests led to a high reliance on in play markets as is touched on by Ed Nicholson from the Kindred Group: “Our in-play offering is one of our key strengths, with customers always having a raft of markets to bet on regardless of how the match is going. With English patriotism high coupled with the match being on a constant knife edge, England’s cricket final was popular in the in-play market. With the tennis, Federer is also always a punters favourite, so all in all, the Live metrics probably evened each other out.”
Betway’s Alan Alger described it as a “truly momentous weekend of sport” before reiterating Nicholson’s comments: “The fluctuations in prices in both the cricket and tennis ensured we had plenty of in-play money to balance the books.”
The massive following both contests received on the day also saw the achievement of a plan laid in motion by both Sky and Channel 4, who prior to the weekend had announced the cricket final would appear on free-to-air TV. This was done to increase fan interest, and Baylis believes it also had a positive impact on the betting markets:
“From a cricket and tennis point of view we exceeded expectations. The see-saw nature of the events whip up greater interest and with both on free to air tv we see more viewers and therefore increase.”
All in all, the weekend seems to have made sportsmen, fans and betting companies very happy, as Nicholson alludes to broken records: “The weekend definitely exceeded expectations. The Wimbledon Men’s Final was our biggest ever tennis match and the Cricket was our biggest ever ‘one off event’ cricket match. Considering how much event cannibalisation there was, we were certainly happy overall.”