Betting Brands Grab Premier League Shirt Exposure “While They Still Can”

By Community | August 14, 2018

Betting brands account for nearly half the shirt sponsors of Premier League clubs this season, easily the biggest product category. There are nine different betting brands sponsoring teams.

However, this preeminence of betting brands is unlikely to be a long-term phenomenon, according to a leading sponsorship expert.

The proportion of betting brands as shirt sponsors, at the same level last season, has expanded steadily since 2002, when Fulham signed Betfair as the first betting brand for its shirt.

“Betting companies are doing all they can to gain exposure because time is limited for them to market themselves the way they have been doing,” Nigel Currie of NC Partnership told iSportconnect.

“There are calls for regulation and there will probably be restrictions coming along. It’s like what happened to tobacco companies back in the day.”

Fulham, promoted to the Premiership this season, is now sponsored by Dafabet. Also promoted, Wolverhampton has betting brand W88 as its shirt sponsor.

They make up for the loss of two betting brands worn by relegated clubs, Stoke City (Bet365) and Swansea (Letou).

“The Premier League is a fantastic vehicle for the betting companies,” said Currie, a long-time member of the iSportconnect community. “It’s such a competitive business and there are so many betting companies, they are an obvious target for the clubs.”

If restrictions on betting sponsorship do come in, Currie foresees the sponsorship picture holding up well regardless.

“If you go back to tobacco, everybody thought losing that sector for sponsorship would be a disaster. But new companies and new brands and new sectors arrived to fill the gap.”

“I think the same thing will happen more or less. There is always a new sector around the corner.”

Burnley, which replaced Dafabet with betting brand LaBa360 this season, finished seventh in the league in 2017-18, the highest finish for a betting-sponsored team.

Other Premiership clubs wearing betting sponsors this season are M88 Bournemouth (M88), Crystal Palace (ManBetX), Everton (Sport Pesa), Huddersfield (Ope Sports), Newcastle Fan88 and West Ham (Betway).

The dominance of betting sponsors resembles the situation in 1995, when 10 Premier League clubs had technology brands as shirt sponsors. Now there are none.

Since the creation of the league, technology has been the single biggest source of main sponsors, according to the Financial Times.