They say that “change is the only constant”. It’s fair to say that in the 20 years I’ve been in marketing positions, the role of the CMO has changed completely.
Ladbrokes Australia’s inaugural chief marketing officer has quit the post after three years to pursue new opportunities.
James Burnett was appointed CMO by wagering startup, Gaming Investments, to grow its Bookmaker.com.au brand but was then put in charge of launching the Ladbrokes brand in Australia after the UK company acquired Gaming Investments in September 2013.
Burnett was formerly national marketing and sponsorship manager at Tabcorp, and also held sales and commercial development roles at Fairfax Media.
Ladbrokes has appointed Simon Jarvis as its new CMO, who joins from a GM of marketing role at Australia College.
In a statement, Burnett noted Ladbrokes’ rise to the third-largest sports betting company in Australia, growing turning to $1.5 billion in 2015 and acquiring more than 85,000 new depositing customers.
Burnett was also responsible for the launch of Ladbrokes’ ad campaign using a cockney voice, which he claimed has helped the betting agency dominate the male 18 to 35 year-old category.
“The decision to use [cockney actor] James Kristian was polarizing but the results proved it to be correct,” Burnett said. “He gave us a unique voice in a cluttered market and the target audience, mean 18 to 35, loved him and the ‘Lock, Stock’ style of ads we produced.”
Other key initiatives included launching the Ladbrokes branded debit and visa card, along with a cash-in facility launched with Sydney technology payments startup, Blueshfyt, which is now running across 1000 newsagents nationally.
Burnett said he’ll take some time off before looking into new opportunities.