altMuch loved rural soap Emmerdale has been sponsored by bingo brand Tombola for the last few years but just last week, it was announced that rival bingo site Bet365 Bingo will be taking over as their new sponsor. The announcement was made on February 23rd by ITV Commercial and the sponsorship package officially begins on 12th March. The contract was negotiated by ITV Commercial, Drummond Central and Republic of Media on behalf of Bet365 Bingo and will run initially for 24 months.

Bet365 Bingo until now, has not been involved in broadcasting sponsorship however the new deal will see their ad appear across all Emmerdale content on every ITV channel which will include reruns on ITV2. The deal even applies to the online service ITV player which can be accessed via mobile devices too. This sounds like a seriously good move by Bet365. The sponsorship idents which will appear before and during the ad breaks of the programme are being created by design agency Drummond Central. Drummond Central is responsible for the success of the ‘Calling all Bingoheads’ adverts that have become synonymous with Bet365. They have also worked with Stoke City FC and the fast food company Subway.

With forty years on our screens, Emmerdale is the second longest British TV soap and scores some top viewer ratings, which obviously appealed to Bet 365. In 2011, Emmerdale averaged 7.6 million viewers which equalled around a 34.7% share of the entire viewership and this peaked at 9.2 million in December 2011.

ITV Business Development Director, Jason Spencer, praised the decision and described it as a ‘huge broadcast opportunity’ for Bet 365 especially as 2012 is Emmerdale’s historic 40th anniversary year. He also stated that the viewers of Emmerdale fitted perfectly into the demographic that Bet 365 Bingo is trying to target, as well as the brands values and saw no reason why this deal couldn’t lead to an ‘enduring and successful partnership.’

With 12th March just around the corner it’ll be interesting to see how Bet365 Bingo presents itself to Emmerdale viewers and how it’s already established brand image works in conjunction with the soap. With top execs happy and a leading design agency putting together their idents it’s hard to see how it could go wrong and so Bet365 Bingo will see its already burgeoning members count increase even further. Bet 365 Bingo is just one of many brands keen to work on its advertising and branding to add value to their product.

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