Publisher News UK has applied for a series of “Sun Bets” trademarks, including two which carry the strapline “back yourself”.
A betting service would create additional utility for users and monetisation for the publisher within The Sun’s “Goals” package, which forms part of its £2 week Sun+ digital subscription. However, it could also cause conflict with advertisers – particularly bookmakers such as Paddy Power, which was the first sponsor of the Sun Goals app when it launched in August last year.
Sun Bets would join a portfolio of existing branded gambling products, which include its Sun+ “Second Chance Sunday” Lotto game and Sun Bingo, which launched in 2006.
A News UK spokeswoman told Marketing Week: “Britain’s most popular paper is the number once choice of more than half of the UK’s online gamblers, so we are always seeking ways to strengthen our sports offer to them.”
A search on the Gambling Commission website for recent applications does not turn up any results for News UK, but it is likely the Sun owner would use a white label company to launch the product.
The Sun’s digital content went behind a paywall in August. In December News UK revealed the Sun+ digital package had 117,000 subscribers.
News Group Newspapers, the subsidiary of News UK that owns the Sun, reported a pre-tax loss of £75m in the 12 months to 30 June, as it was subject to charges of nearly £90m related to The News of the World phone-hacking scandal. That was a reduction of the £318m loss it ran up the previous year.
The company generated turnaround of £514m in 2013, up from £493m in 2012.