888 Changes Name to Evoke in Company ‘Reset’

Online gambling giant 888 has officially changed its name to Evoke. Despite having distinctly girl-band vibes, the rebrand was approved emphatically by shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday, with 284,646,548 votes for to 595,372 votes against.

Evoke, rebrand, Per Widerström
With a new name and new logo (above), the company formerly known as 888 hopes the rebrand will take it in a “new direction.” (Image: 888/Evoke)

Evoke will begin trading on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker “EVOK” once the rebrand is complete.

Evoke CEO Per Widerström said the name change would be a chance for the company to “reset.” That’s after 18 months of management upheaval and regulatory issues.

New Horizons

“Today, we officially start our next chapter as Evoke plc,” the company wrote on its LinkedIn page Wednesday. “Evoke is a symbol of our new direction. A direction that builds on our strengths and allows us to move forward as one multi-brand group with a united strategy, vision, and identity.

It also “better reflects the company’s mission” – although the post didn’t explain how – which is “to make life more interesting by delighting players with world-class betting and gaming experiences.”

The name change was initially announced in April as part of a wider “value creation plan” with new financial targets. The company has been under pressure to reduce the debt it acquired after 2021’s highly leveraged acquisition of William Hill’s international operations.

The plan has involved pulling its B2C operations out of the US market, where it powered a Sports Illustrated-branded betting and gaming platform, citing operational costs. Instead, it has opted to refocus on its core markets, the UK, Italy, Spain, and Denmark.

The company also hopes to leverage AI to cut costs by improving the efficiency of its day-to-day operations.

Name-Change Gamble

The name change is in line with the current trend within the gambling industry to liven up brand names – GVC Holdings became Entain and Paddy Power Betfair became Flutter. But rebranding is always a gamble, simply because it requires a company to jettison decades of brand recognition for something that might not actually work.

The UK’s postal service, known since 1635 as the Royal Mail, is a case in point. In an effort to compete with mail companies with snappy names like FedEx, the Royal Mail decided to change its name to the meaningless, made-up word “Consignia.” The move was widely ridiculed, and a year later Consignia changed its name back to the Royal Mail.

The jury’s still out on Elon Musk’s Twitter/X rebrand.

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