Footy tipping: The app we have waited for?

The service, known as eTipping, will be officially launched next month and promises to offer AFL and NRL fans the ability to place their tips for their teams over the Web during each week of the football season.

eTipping is developed by South Melbourne-based Footy Tipping Software (FTS). The company will also will be the ASP for the run the competition.

According to FTS managing director David Layton, the service is most suited to organisations with 50 or more tippers. To sign up to the service, the minimum a participating company pays is $550. For that spend they get access to the software, which is used to run their competition and e-mails which are sent out to each tipper a number of times each week, detailing weekend results/fixtures, their current tips and standings. The rules of entry, cost of joining ( subject to government permits) and prizes are determined by each company.

While it may appear to be a light-hearted service, Layton said eTipping "is really a direct marketing tool for companies". As well as providing a tipping service to employees, Layton said companies can use the competition as an attraction to visitors such as clients or prospective customers to their Web sites. "It is just product awareness and branding," he said. This branding is also reiterated by the e-mails sent to tippers, which can contain advertisements for a company or direct people back to the company's Web site.

As this was its first year out, Layton said he had modest expectations for eTipping. However, given the Australian public's fondness for picking a winner on the football, the service had the potential "to be big".

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