Report: Gambling front of shirt sponsorships rise despite potential ban
August 4, 2022
Alex Burmaster is the Head of Research and Analysis at Caytoo, a company that specialises in sponsorship and commercial intelligence, has written a report that looks into the rise of betting sponsorship’s in football
With reports that Premier League football clubs will vote on voluntarily banning betting firms from team’s front of shirts, new research reveals this type of sponsorship is back on the rise following a huge fall last year.
Gambling saw the joint third-highest rise in the number of front of shirt (FoS) sponsors in the last year across the 226 professional football, cricket and rugby teams in England. It now accounts for 9.2% of sponsors, jumping back into second place behind Automotive (10.5%) and ahead of Retail (8.8%).
“It’s a notable return to favour for gambling after its share of sponsorships nearly halved from 2019 to 2021. However, this year, deals in rugby and cricket have resulted in a mini come back which will surprise many as publicity on gambling sponsorship centres on football,” said Alex Burmaster, head of research and analysis at sponsorship intelligence firm caytoo which conducts the annual study. “So, the big questions are: will the Premier League voluntary ban happen and, if so, will other divisions or sports such as rugby and cricket follow suit?”
The rather unheralded Manufacturing/Engineering sector has seen the biggest increase in FoS sponsorships from 4.9% to 7.5%. It’s now the fourth most prevalent sponsor, overtaking stalwart sectors such as IT, Construction and Travel & Tourism. Retail (7.1% to 8.8%) is the next fastest-growing sector.
In contrast, Financial Services – last year’s second most dominant sector – has seen the biggest drop (down from 8.4% to 6.1%) and is now ranked fifth. The next biggest faller is Alcohol, down from 3.1% to 1.3% – just one quarter of the share it held three years ago.
“The covid pandemic meant digitally-led firms dominated last year’s fastest-growers but this year, with the exception of online car retail, has seen more traditional sectors leading the charge,” said Burmaster.
In terms of individual sports, Gambling is football’s most prevalent FoS sponsor (15.4% share), while cricket’s is Automotive (17.7%) and rugby’s is Manufacturing/Engineering and Retail (both 13.3%).
“It’s a reminder that chasing the next new thing isn’t always the best route when selling sponsorship. For instance, we frequently get requests to help find a fintech, crypto or online food delivery sponsor but we’re never asked to find a manufacturing or engineering one,” added Burmaster.