Over the past few years, online gaming companies have become key sponsors of football clubs in the Premier League and across the EFL.
From betting companies to live casinos that operate online, you will see lots of these brands on the front of the shirt of your favourite team as well as along the hoardings that surround the pitch.
So far at least it seems as though these partnerships between the two worlds has been mutually beneficial for both parties.
The online gaming industry as seen growth year on year and especially over the last 12 months as that is the only way people could enjoy their favourite casino games due to the ongoing pandemic.
As more and more online gaming platforms as well as sports betting companies partner up with football clubs, we will take a look at the factors surrounding these partnerships.
The Football Side
As you can expect, the football industry in England is worth millions of pounds in revenue with every season. Between merchandise like replica kits and other apparel, ticket sales, tv revenue and promotional deals. This shows how many ways football clubs make money. You can see why companies will want to break into this exciting world. The other major factor is the varied backgrounds of fans. Football is a sport that appeals to lots of people from all races and backgrounds. Each country has their own fans with legions of dedicated fans. This mix of people is the perfect blend for companies to promote themselves in.
The Online Casino Side
The days of visiting a brick and mortar casino are fading fast as technology becomes more advanced. People are using their high powered smartphones and lightning-fast internet speeds to enjoy the thrill of a casino from the comfort of their homes. This has led to online casinos exploding in popularity over the past few years.
To aid this online gaming platforms and sports betting companies are looking for partnerships to help boost their brand awareness. Whilst you might not think football and online casinos would be a good match but they have been intertwined for years.
How Football clubs benefit
As we have previously mentioned, football clubs have a multitude of revenue streams and sponsorship deals are one of the most important ones. This has to be the right kind of deal as to not be to the detriment of the club’s brand image. Football clubs benefit from lucrative deals that can aid them in making the club better in other ways.
The extra money that the club are bringing in from these deals can help with the upkeep of the club’s facilities, buying some new players and bring new fans in to watch the team with community events and some deals on ticketing.
How do online casinos benefit
When looking at these sponsorship deals from the online casinos perspective. They do have more to gain from these deals when compared to the clubs. A team that is at the top of the table or winning lots of domestic and international tournaments and are covered by lots of media outlets and by seeing elite players in magazines and in adverts whilst wearing apparel with the company’s logo on it is an easy marketing tool for the business.
This will generate a lot of online traffic and interest in the companies and will see new players heading to the online casinos and new players placing bets on said clubs.
Current deals and sponsorships
At the start of the 2019/20 season, only three Premier League clubs were without a partnership with a betting company. When you delve further into it half of the clubs have a betting brand as their prime shirt sponsor for the season. Top clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham also boast about their partnerships with betting brands away from the pitch. In England’s second tier, 17 out of the 24 clubs feature a betting brand name as the shirt sponsor for the ‘19/’20 season.
There is now some talk that EFL clubs could be made to change their sponsors due to new Government regulations that are set to be discussed.
Overall picture on Sponsorships in football
Sponsorship in football is nothing new and has been around for as long as we can remember. Betting and gambling companies have just replaced alcohol and cigarette companies that used to sponsor clubs. Alcohol brands are still prevalent in UEFA and FIFA competitions more so than at league and club level. Amstel and Heineken are part of the sponsors for the Champions League and Europa League (plus the new Europa Conference League). Heineken would also have been in line to sponsor the upcoming Euro 2021 Championships before they were delayed.