Excellence in Travel/Leisure & Entertainment Marketing Strategy

For the first time in its 70-year history, the country’s very-own sports betting brand TAB New Zealand was faced with its biggest challenge yet; appealing to a younger audience. 

A campaign you can bet on

As a brand that has been around since 1951, TAB New Zealand has been able to garner a loyal following within the age group of 55-year-olds and over who used the platform for horse racing. 

But as time has gone by, betting has further evolved to include sports, something this younger demographic of 18 to 34-year-olds are more inclined towards and TAB’s competitor BET365 has taken over as a market. 

In order to meet that younger demographic and take back the market share from BET365, TAB New Zealand needed to shift the brand perceptions from just a betting brand to an entertainment brand. 

The main consumers it wanted to approach is the 18 to 34-year-old male sports bettors who see sports betting as a “legitimate form of entertainment”, with 37 percent having placed a bet in the 12 months. 

For TAB New Zealand, this proved that there was growth in getting the young bettors to see them as a first choice. 

According to research by TAB New Zealand, this main demographic, unlike the older group who use the platform, follow sports such as Rugby, Rugby League, EPL, Basketball and UFC with a more social focus. 

This was the opposite of TAB New Zealand’s brand perceptions it had built based on horse racing; a more unsociable and solo behaviour. 

Ultimately this meant that TAB New Zealand needed to reposition itself to meet this demographic by being more sociable and thrilling. 

Though offshore betting platforms have strong associations with sports such as NBA Basketball and the English Premier League, TAB New Zealand focused on sports that are important for Kiwis such as cricket and rugby. 

TAB New Zealand was able to connect with younger audiences by tapping into the sports that appealed to the demographic, such as signing up as a sponsor with the rugby league team One New Zealand Warriors, offering leveraging opportunities. 

This partnership helped drive ‘Kiwi-ness’ to the brand, giving it a competitive advantage over its global competitors. Its ad campaigns also focused on looking sociable and exciting.

From this campaign, TAB New Zealand was able to see a three percent increase in active customers and a three percent increase in total bets placed. 

The Reasearch Agency (TRA) was able to reveal that there has been a five percent increase in emotive strength and brand positivity in the demographic that TAB targeted. 

TAB New Zealand was able to take back some of its market share from competitors, where 52 percent of 18-34 males preferred the Kiwi platform over the 15 percent who chose Bet365.

Tapping into the future value of under 55 male bettors was vital as they generate the greatest betting spend and greater lifetime value, making this campaign a true winner. 

Excellence in Travel/Leisure & Entertainment Marketing Strategy


Marketing Initiative:
TAB – Uncontainable Joy 2022

Marketing Partners:
Chemistry, MBM, TRA

Judges’ Comments:
Clear articulation of the perception problems and marketing strategy. Brilliant job uncovering the insights that drive the new ‘entertainment and social’ focus anchored in NZ sport. Strong lift in perception and engagement results. Well done!

Mix & Match, Ngāi Tahu Tourism, QT Hotels & Resorts, Sky

This article was originally published in the September/October 2023 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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