Manchester United recently signed a deal with bwin, the largest publicly-listed online gaming company in the world. The deal will see the company serve as the gambling partner for the club and makes the United the third soccer club that the online gaming giant has signed. However, bwin is not the only online gaming company to sign a sponsorship deal with a Premier League club. In fact, it appears that football is a sport that many online companies are beginning to pour funds into.
Liverpool FC is another club that is not only sponsored by one, but two online gaming sites. The club has deals with both 188Bet and with Paddy Power. Paddy Power has long been controversial for their bet offerings. For example, they once took bets on when American President Barack Obama would be assassinated. Even with all the controversy, Paddy Power’s mobile revenues have increased to the point where they are comfortable reinvesting those dollars into football sponsorships. Clearly they hope that the exposure from their deal help grow their brand further.
Chelsea FC has also gotten into the act of online gaming sponsorship. Betsson and the club signed a deal where they serve as the team’s betting partner and even run their Gunner themed gaming site. Ironically, up until about a week ago bwin actually owned the network that Betsson resides on but the ownership of the network recently changed so now Amaya actually is the parent company funding Betsson.
If you think about it, it makes sense that a lot of these companies are deciding to take a gamble, pun intended, on football sponsorship. Football betting is huge business for these sites, so why not put out some cash to try and direct some of that traffic their way. Diehard fans of these clubs are going to want to bet with the site for simple fact that they support the site.
The partnership is also beneficial to the squad sponsored as it helps to infuse cash into the team for starters, and next gives their fans a website to bet where they feel their bets are safe. Liverpool is not going to partner with a site that is not legal and fully regulated. As such, their fans can be sure that when they place a bet on the KOP that they will be paid.
As online gambling continues to grow in popularity, don’t be surprised to see more sites sponsor football squads. It makes sound business sense for the companies investing the money and is of great benefit to the clubs sponsored.