Kristof Fahy spoke to Gambling Insider in his first exclusive interview since returning to the industry in January.
Fahy served as CMO of Ladbrokes’ fellow operator William Hill for five years before leaving in March last year, and worked under the same title for Telegraph Media Group between April and November.
We have the heritage and we have a brand name that is the best out there but in the digital space especially we need to grow scale back into that brandKristof Fahy
After being brought in by Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen, who worked with Fahy at Hills as COO and director, international, Fahy has a clear view on how he wants Ladbrokes to increase its marketing presence.
He said: “It's simple. We need to invest. If we want to be number one, marketing investment is absolutely critical. We're not going to be shy. We already have great channels but we need to tie together a lot more of the marketing activity to ensure we're delivering great value for each of those channels. We have the heritage and we have a brand name that is the best out there but in the digital space especially we need to grow scale back into that brand.”
Fahy’s appointment as CMO is one of a number of significant events that have taken place at Ladbrokes recently, after Jim Mullen replaced Richard Glynn as CEO in April, before it was announced in May that Peter Erskine would be stepping down from the position of chairman, a role that has since been filled by John Kelly.
Confirmation came in July that Ladbrokes plans to merge with Gala Coral, and the merger is under review by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
On the topic of the Ladbrokes Coral merger, Fahy said: “Right now, my focus is on Ladbrokes rather than on Ladbrokes Coral. I need to make an impact at Ladbrokes and it's that work which really excites me. I'm not going to pre-empt the CMA process which is ongoing but down the line, which CMO wouldn't be excited about working with two of the best brands in the same merged company? We'd have to look at where the brands work well together and where there's scope for differentiation. Having two brands like Ladbrokes and Coral together ought to frighten some of our rivals.
“We need a single point of marketing leadership. We have finite resources and we need to ensure they're all facing in the right direction if we're going to make the most of the opportunity.”
To view more of what Fahy had to say, you can read the full article in Issue 34 of Gambling Insider. Click here to sign up for a free print or online subscription.