William Hill has named Anthony Joshua as its new global brand ambassador amid reports that the UK bookmaker is in talks with a US casino giant to strengthen its position in the North American market.
Under the new one-year deal, heavyweight superstar Joshua will feature in the brand’s integrated advertising campaigns as well as participating in social media and offline promotional activities.
The appointment comes as reports link William Hill with a deal with Penn National Gaming, which operates casinos in 16 US states under the Hollywood brand.
It follows the landmark US ruling in May relaxing sports betting regulation across many US states.
Other UK sports betting firms have also been eager to get in on the market.
On Friday, Paddy Power Betfair announced plans to roll out its Fan Duel platform across up to 15 states as part of a new agreement with US firm Boyd Gaming.
Last week also saw GVC, parent company of Ladbrokes, enter into a joint venture with US casino giant MGM.
William Hill’s deal with Joshua comes as the unified heavyweight world champion, an international crossover star, prepares to defend his titles against Alexander Povetkin. A unification clash with US star Deontay Wilder is expected next year.
Announcing Joshua’s appointment, William Hill CEO Philip Bowcock said: “Anthony Joshua is one of the leading sports personalities of his generation and he has achieved so much so quickly.
“It’s exciting times at William Hill as we expand into the United States and we felt this was a perfect time to announce a global brand ambassador. AJ is the ideal fit for the role and we believe he will help us grow and energise our brand as we join him on his journey to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. “
The boxer added: “They are promoting and marketing boxing to a huge audience outside of our industry which is something I am passionate about. It is important for me to work with brands who understand the journey I am on and the dedication it takes to become undisputed heavyweight champion. I have been really impressed with the team at William Hill and I am looking forward to a long and successful partnership. "