News bets on wagering ads

News Corp Australia is betting big on the lucrative wagering advertising sector with the creation of the role of group director of wagering.

Simon Anderson, former executive general manager of The Daily and Sunday Telegraph filled the newly created role on Monday.

He will focus on growing News’ punting audience through the evolution of print and digital products, which in turn will enhance News Corp’s value proposition to wagering advertisers.

Mr Anderson will also be charged with developing News’ overall strategy in this area, with details to be ironed out once he settles into the role.

According to emma data, 85 per cent of sports gamblers have read a newspaper in print or online in the past month.

Heavy newspaper readers are 83 per cent more likely to have placed a bet in the past month than non-newspaper readers.

Damian Eales, News’ head of metro and regional publishing, said wagering advertising was growing across all platforms in the business.

“This newly created role will see Simon working across our print and digital publishing assets to further develop our wagering strategy; leveraging our considerable sports audience to build valuable propositions for wagering advertisers,” Mr Eales said.

The move follows forays by News UK into wagering, after it partnered with gaming giant Tabcorp last year to launch a new online betting business called Sun Bets.

While the door has been left open on a similar partnership in Australia, a spokesperson said News Corp Australia was not currently considering entering the online betting market and the focus at present was squarely on better serving wagering clients.

Earlier this year, News Corp created a dedicated role for one of its other lucrative verticals, real estate.

The appointment of Mr Anderson – who will report to Mr Eales – was part of a trio of executive movements announced last week.

Michael Wilkins, former general manager of NewsLocal, has been appointed executive general manger of The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, filling Mr Anderson’s former role.

Tamara Oppen, former general manager of strategic projects, will take Mr Wilkins’ former role at NewsLocal.

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