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Aligning share plan communications with a new brand

Entain is an innovative company defined by rapid change.

Formerly known as GVC, the group is best-known in the UK as owner of the Ladbrokes and Coral sports betting brands. But thanks to a rapid growth and acquisition strategy, Entain is now one of the world’s largest sports betting, gaming, and interactive entertainment groups, with operations in almost 30 countries.

They’re committed to investing in their people and communities. Employee share ownership plays a big part in this, and they wanted to increase colleague engagement with their ShareSave plan across the globe.

As ever, communication is the key to driving take-up and engagement, so they approached us for help.

The challenge

There were numerous challenges to overcome:

• Entain is a fairly new brand. And many employees identify with the individual brand they work for, for example Ladbrokes, rather than the parent company. This placed great emphasis on the creative concept which would tie the campaign together and engage employees with the Entain brand.
• The campaign would be global, with all assets translated into Spanish and Georgian.
• Time was short – we had just five weeks to create and execute the entire campaign.
• As well as colleagues in offices across the globe, a high percentage of Entain’s workforce is based in retail shops, with limited or no access to work email. Reaching every employee would be difficult.

The creative concept

Creativity would be the key to making the project work. We wanted a creative concept that really elevated the Entain brand, and raised awareness of the brand among employees.

Our creative team came up with three concepts to choose from – you can see some of the early creative work below.

After some careful thought and testing internally to see how each concept landed, Entain decided on the strap line ‘it’s a win-win’, combined with a visual of falling cards, each of which would illustrate one of the benefits of the plan. The strap line is powerful, but we were careful to balance benefits and risks throughout the campaign.

We felt the concept neatly illustrated that ShareSave is a plan where you can’t lose money, but you could make significant gains. The communications also emphasised that ShareSave is both a win for colleagues, and a win for the company.

The communications

Working closely with the team at Entain, we developed a strategy, getting the messages right and making sure we used the right channels to reach every employee.

To make sure we reached colleagues who weren’t based in an office, and didn’t have access to emails, we developed a manager toolkit. This included training notes and a PowerPoint presentation so managers could confidently explain this valuable colleague benefit to their teams.

In this way we were able to make sure the plan was inclusive, and appealed to under-represented segments of employees. We wanted to give all employees the best chance of understanding both the benefits and the risks, so they could make an informed decision.

  • A brochure served as the main information hub, hosted on the intranet
  • Emails at pre-launch, launch and reminder phases
  • ‘What is a share’ video, aimed at educating those who hadn’t been part of a share plan before, or maybe had never bought any type of investment product
  • ‘How ShareSave works’ video, clearly explaining the benefits and risks
  • A dynamic calculator, so employees could model potential gains – this worked by pulling in a live share price using API technology, and a slider to select future share price movements.
  • Manager toolkit, so managers could work with their teams to make sure they understood the plan.
  • Posters across all sites.
  • Banners and content for their social channel, Yammer.
  • Separate communications for the large retail population, including their daily news emails and digital magazines.
  • A global masterclass which was live-streamed to 25 countries and had over 2,000 attendees.

The results

Despite the challenges we describe above, the campaign was a resounding success.

1,551 colleagues took part in ShareSave for the first time. And more than 1,200 people are serial joiners, signing up to each of the 2021, 2022 and 2023 editions.

40% of non-retail employees in the UK joined, and 12% of UK retail colleagues – significantly ahead of the average retail take-up for SAYE. The overall take-up rate was 15%, well ahead of last year.

Next steps

Entain were delighted with these results – the creativity which went into our communications campaign really paid dividends, driving both engagement with the plan and wider brand awareness.

The success of the plan was recognised by the industry too – the campaign was shortlisted for the Most Effective Communication of an Employee Share Plan category at the annual ProShare awards.

We look forward to building on this success next year. Entain are planning to link share plans to financial wellbeing, providing education about investing for first-time shareholders.

We’re also planning to use the data from this year to see how we can target underrepresented groups. One way we’ll be doing this is by engaging with Entain’s networks (Pride@Entain – their global LGBTQ+ network, Women@Entain and Black Professionals@Entain).

Got a project? Let’s talk

If you’d like some help with your share plan communications, we’d love to chat.