Australia’s wagering giant awakens with a new brand and high-profile sports ambassadors

Australia’s wagering giant unwakens with the unveiling of a thrilling new brand, UBET, at a gala ‘green carpet’ event at Sydney’s Carriageworks on Wednesday 29 April 2015.

The re-branded wagering division from TattsBet to UBET will become Australia’s premier sports and race betting destination. TattsBet started trading in 1962 as TAB Queensland. It was privatised in 1999 and took over TAB operations in NT (2000), SA (2002), Tasmania (2012). The business generates turnover in excess of $3.5 billion annually. Parent company Tatts Group is Australia’s largest provider of wagering, lotteries and gaming in products and services.

Amid the fanfare, UBET announced a series of high-profile sports ambassadors and suite of new sponsorships. UBET announced its League of Legends, featuring some of the biggest names on the Australian sporting scene.

Three-time AFL premiership player Jonathan Brown, dual NRL premiership player, NSW Origin and Kangaroos legend Anthony Minichiello, former Wallabies captain Nathan Sharpe, four-time Bathurst champion Greg Murphy and former ESPN host and US sports expert, Jason Bennett all joined the UBET team as ambassadors.

All five will provide expert insights and commentary for UBET punters.

In addition to its existing sponsorships of racing carnivals around the country and the Gold Coast Suns, UBET announced new partnerships with the Port Adelaide Football Club, V8 Supercars, Melbourne City Football Club as well as official, national charity partner – Mates4Mates.

UBET, as the exclusive retail operator in Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania, has the distinct advantage of being one of only two wagering providers to offer a true multi-channel experience with web, mobile app and telephone betting available in addition to on and off-course retail outlets. One of the major changes under UBET is the emphasis on innovation and new technology.

UBET has launched a new website as well as best in class mobile and iPad apps, which provide punters with a vastly different digital experience. Some of the key features include a more intuitive design, quick multi bets, improved account management functionality and live Sky Racing vision (excluding NSW and Victorian thoroughbreds).

But UBET isn’t turning to the online world at the expense of bricks and mortar. It recently opened Australia’s first UBET store at New Farm in Brisbane, commencing a multi-million dollar investment in its 1,200 outlet-strong retail network, with the next store to roll out in Tasmania followed by Adelaide.

The new retail concept represents the TAB of the future – a vastly different look and feel with cutting–edge video wall technology, sound canopies, stadium-style seating and new betting terminals. The TAB stores won’t all move to UBET stores overnight. It’s a 3-5 year transition given the size of the network

In an Australian first, the inclusion of UBET Live, a digital, in-play sports betting solution will allow punters to bet through a customised app on an in-store tablet device.

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Award winning Nissos Beer launches in Sydney in true Greek style

The ancient Greeks are known for many of their achievements. They gave the world the first democracy, they invented the Olympic Games, they built magnificent buildings and developed formulas that have influenced architecture for the last two millennia, they wrote the first histories, they were the first to take a scientific approach to medicine and study diseases, they invented the rules of geometry, they created outstanding literature, they wrote the first dramas that were performed in outdoor theatres, and they studied and classified plants. However, all I hear about Greece now is their economic woes rather than any achievements, until I heard about this craft beer known as Nissos.

Nissos hails from the isle of Tinos in Greece, and has been winning awards Europe. On 23 April 2015, Nissos Beer launched in Sydney’s CYREN Restaurant, Darling Harbour, and I got to taste this award winning beer.

Brewed and bottled in small quantities, the result is a spicy herbal-citrusy fragrant aroma with subtle malt flavours, rounding off with a pleasant hoppiness at finish and a perfect mouthfeel.

Nissos took home the Silver Bohemian-Style Pilsner 2014 Award at the European Beer Competition in Bavaria, Germany among 42 countries and 1,613 beers on offer, with judges evaluating taste, colour, flavour and overall impression. Nissos also won National Champion at the European Business Award 2014/15.

Guests were invited to celebrating in true Greek style with master brewer, Alexandros Kouris,, enjoying an abundance of authentic Greek foods including such classics as Spanakopita, prawns, halloumi, cypriot sausage called sheftalia, grilled lamb and chicken skewers, salt and pepper octopus, and freshly shucked oysters. For dessert, guests were treated to a delicious Nissos Beer sorbet and fetta and watermelon on skewers.

Celebrities and notable guests included Jay Lyon, Melinda Kemp, Tim Dormer, Samantha Frost, Rachel Smith, Emma Birdsall, the Greek ambassador and, my favourite, the Acropolis Now character of Effie Stefanides, Mary Coustas.

Nissos is now available in Sydney and Melbourne through Beverage Imports Pty Ltd, with a future roll out of off-premise stores to occur over the next 12 months.

Exclusively on-premise for now, Nissos can be found at Nick’s Restaurant & Bar venues, including Cyren, Nick’s Seafood Restaurant, Nick’s Bar & Grill, Stacks Taverna, I’m Angus Steakhouse and Adria Bar Restaurant. Nissos is priced at $9 per bottle, $8.50 ‘on tap’ and $24 per jug (only at Stacks).

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Hotel Centennial celebrates their first birthday with an elegant soiree

Hotel Centennial turned one and to celebrate a great year they invited locals and celebrities to an elegant soiree at their Scarlett Lounge with cocktails, Veuve Clicquot champagne, canapes and a big birthday cake on Tuesday 21 April 2015.

The night included a speech by editor at large of News.com.au, Melissa Hoyer, and celebrity chef, Justin North.

Guests were spoilt with canapes including: heirloom tomato, goat’s cheese and basil tart; crab and cucumber brioche; Glacier 51 tooth fish roll ups with miso, black sesame and lime; yellow fin tuna tartare taco with green chilli and ginger; caramalised pork belly with wood fired eggplant; prosciutto and smoked buffalo mozzarella croquettes and nettle aioli; native ribery fruit meringues; and chocolate fudge with smoked salt.

Drinks included Veuve Clicquot champagne and cocktails such as: Centennial Sunrise made of Mezcal Amores, pineapple, Cilantro, lime and Habanero Grenadine; Berry and Black Tea Punch made of FAIRRum, FAIRGoji liqueur, black tea, orange and cinnamon; and Mayan Flip made of Mezcal Amores, vanilla liqueur, coffee, chocolate bitters, chilli syrup and whole egg.

The festivities continued through the week with events including an organic high tea on Monday, a Best of Woollahra dinner on Wedesday, a celebrity chef dinner with Manu Feildel and Justin North on Thursday, and Friday flutes on Friday.

The Hotel Centennial was originally established in 1888, and after a million refurbishment was transformed from a pub into an elegant bar and reopened in April 2014 by Halcyon Hotels. The hotel won the 2014 AHA award for the best redeveloped hotel in Sydney.

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Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is #ALWAYSTRENDING

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, Australia’s only international fashion platform, ran from Sunday 12 April 2015 to Sunday 19 April 2015. It focused on providing Australian designers with a platform to connect with a global audience of buyers, press and consumers.

Over 70 designers took part in Australia’s premiere fashion industry event, showcasing the Spring/Summer 2015/16 collections: akira, Any Step, Aje, alice McCALL, Ashkar Line, Asanovski, Backstage, Bec & Bridge, Betty Tran, Bianca Spender, Black by Geng, Blue Glue Bikinis, Bondi Bather, by johnny, Candi Sanderson, Casper&Pearl, CS Edit x Kirrily Johnston, Cynthia Francisca, Daniel Avakian, De La Motte, Dyspnea, Ellery, Fella, Gail Sorronda, Galanni, Gary Bigeni, Ginger & Smart, Gypsea, HAN, Haryono Setiadi, House of Cannon, Injury, Ivan Teh, IXIAH, Jack Huang, Jai Saunders, Jayson Brunsdon, Jennifer Kate, Jewels + Grace, Johanna Johnson, Kate Sylvester, La Biquini, Lee Mathews, macgraw, Mariam Seddiq, Manning Cartell, Mat Lee, Maticevski, Michael Lo Sordo, Misha Collection, One Fell Swoop, Onticha, POL, Phoenix Keating, Romance Was Born, Sara Aljaism, Serpent & the Swan, Steven Khalil, Stevie May, STRATEAS.CARLUCCI, SWAROVSKI, Ten Pieces, TOME,  Vanessa Moe, Wang Yutao, Watson x Watson, We Are Handsome, Worn, Zhivago, Zingiber and 580.

This year Mercedes Benz Fashion Week celebrated 20 years of fashion with the hashtag #alwaystrending. Mercedes-Benz began their involvement in Fashion in Australia in 1996, adopting title sponsorship of the very first Australian Fashion Week.  In the 20 years that followed, the Mercedes-Benz partnership with fashion has grown into a global brand platform that spans over 50 fashion events in over 20 countries around the world.

The schedule included five days of trade and media runway shows, presentations and key industry events which provided the Australian Fashion Industry with outstanding opportunities to maximise business outcomes. There was also the weekend edition which commenced on the Friday which highlighted the best fashion of the week and was open to the general public.

The trade and media focused Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia showcased the very best in design talent at Carriageworks, Eveleigh. The five-day schedule included a curated selection of Australia’s established fashion designers as well as a showcase from the brightest emerging talent the country has to offer.

Emerging talent were featured in the following fashion parades.

RAFFLES

Seven emerging fashion stars from around Asia-Pacific have dazzled at this year’s Raffles International Showcase, held at Carriageworks on Thursday 16th April for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA) 2015.

The runway show celebrated the most promising alumni from Raffles College of Design and Commerce in Sydney, and Raffles College of Higher Education in Singapore. Five of the up-and-coming fashion talents were graduates from Raffles Sydney while their two counterparts were from the Raffles Singapore campus.

Raffles is the only international college to show at MBFWA 2015; and has been a part of the annual event since 2011.

STEVE MAY

The Stevie May Spring Summer installation at MBFWA was a showcase of raw luxury. An elegant and understated event that took place on the evening of Wednesday 15th April.

This was the first time Stevie May has shown on the prestigious platform of MBFWA. Stevie May is a young brand on the Australian fashion scene having only launched in January of 2015. The label is one of relaxed sophistication and with such well resolved pieces, has already found a clear voice. Stevie May has established a its own ethos, speaking to a well defined audience.

Stevie May has already received a warm welcome from the fashion community who have consistently noted fine detailing, luxury fabrics and the relaxed sophistication that Stevie May has become synonymous for in such a short time since its launch.

The evening event took place at the Anna Schwartz Gallery in the Carriageworks precinct. Spotlit models standing statuesque on plinths, presented the collection as a fine art installation in a gallery context while also giving guests the time to take in details and fabrications from each piece: a luxury that can be missed in a traditional runway show.

The evening also launched a fashion film created to set the scene for this young label. The film was an important contingent of the installation and was projected on a large scale behind the standing models. An original music score was developed for the film by sound artists Ginger & The Ghost. The soundscape created an alluring and ethereal feel to support the ethos of the film and spoke well to the Stevie May woman.

In typical Stevie May fashion, the film placed the focus in a modern and unfussy manner onto the collection and garments. Supporting elements such as the ethereal music score supported the notion of the collection being the primary focus while adding ambience that speaks to the brand.

The installation included a curation of garments from both Spring and Summer collections and worked as an introduction showcase to establish Stevie May as a luxury label that reflects the Byron Bay area from which it originates.

THE INNOVATORS

Australia’s foremost design institution, the esteemed Fashion Design Studio presented six graduates who are The INNOVATORS of 2015 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

WORN by Catherine Conlan opened the show with her quirky take on layering, digital printing and exaggerated silhouettes, whilst paying a tribute to her muse of the collection, Bjorn Borg.

Candi Sanderson brought a moody, androgynous collection focusing on tailoring, Jai Saunders found inspiration in traditional babushkas living in a modern world, while Onticha’s collection was influenced by her childhood spent in the outback.

Jack Huang sent Berlin raver boys and girls down the runway, while Mat Lee’s colourful Japanese kids closed the show.

Front row guests included: Pip Edwards, Lee Oliveira, Simon Lock, Nicky Zimmermann, Natalie Cantell & Nicole Warne.

3UP Presented by BRAUN

To further build the industry, Braun Household is presenting the latest collections from three of Australia’s brightest young designers via the 3UP Presented by Braun designer showcase. Injury, Backstage and Black by Geng will all showcase in this group show, with Braun profiling and promoting content from their show across official MBFWA channels to a global audience of fashion lovers.

Paolo Albertoni, Braun Household CEO, says “We are very pleased to be associated with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia as this event represents the best in Australian designer fashion talent. We see a very strong alignment and synergy with this event placing us at the forefront of supporting local design talent. This is particularly relevant for Braun Household where the brand has been a pioneer in industrial design.”

“Braun Houeshold and MBFWA form the perfect partnership as we share a love of quality design and luxury fabrics. Australian designers are renowned for their beautiful fabrics, and with Braun Household’s support, the ongoing garment care of investment wardrobe pieces is given the necessary attention front and centre with Australia’s biggest names on the fashion industry,” says Emily Weight, IMG Director of Brand & Strategy for Fashion.

Title sponsor Mercedes-Benz is joined by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, DHL, St.George, Redken, City of Sydney, Rekorderlig, Braun, Swarovski, Pier One Sydney Harbour, Mi9, LK Property Group, M.A.C, SanPellegrino, Tempus Two, Ciroc, Vittoria, Carriageworks, Asahi, Pommery, Val Morgan, Ooh Media, Guvera, Getty, Tencent and Fashion GPS.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is an IMG event.

For more information on Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, go to www.mbfashionweek.com

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