Bookmakers are not known for their charitable gestures. So it’s worth thinking why Betfair owner Fred Done decided to pay out £500,000 to punters who backed Manchester United to win the Premier League again this year, when there were still seven games to be played
Within one game to play, Manchester City were installed as firm favourites…the following suggests an explanation for Fred’s actions.
Manchester United fan Fred Done paid up a similar sum in 1998 when United was leading Arsenal by 12 points. The Gunners went on to win the title.
Fred, a long-time United supporter may had been rewarding other faithful fans for backing their team.
On the other hand
Bookies, like scientists, don’t believe in absolute certainties. But they tend to be good at creating marketing opportunities. Fred has converted a near-certain loss of money (which has already been hedged) to a headline in the sports pages drawing attention to his business.
It’s why Paddy Power, another book-maker, is offering to refund all bets on other golfers, if Tiger Woods wins the Masters in Augusta, this weekend [April 2012].
You might call both actions creative marketing.