Rooney’s Move To Derby Has Betting-Branded Look

August 8, 2019

The promotion of Wayne Rooney’s new signing by Derby County in connection with the Championship club’s betting sponsor marks a new level of sophistication in adding value to a betting brand’s association with a club.

Former England star Rooney will wear the number 32 shirt when he joins Derby in January in line with the club’s shirt sponsorship with Gibraltar-based 32Red (see the club’s video of the announcement on iSportconnect TV).

Team owner Mel Morris said that the signing had given a boost to the new sponsorship deal with 32Red. “On the back of Wayne joining the club, we have just been offered a record-breaking sponsorship deal with our principal shirt sponsor, 32Red.”

“To be honest, the number that I wear is not a big deal,” Rooney said. “I’ve worn many numbers throughout my career, Nos 18, 8, 9, 10, 23, now 32, for me, the important thing was to come back and help the team, the number isn’t a big deal whatever it is.”

Ten of the 20 Premier League clubs will have gambling companies as their shirt sponsors this year, along with 15 of 24 teams in the Sky Bet Championship.

The explicit link between Rooney and the brand via the number 32 has drawn fire from critics of the high profile of gambling in sport, including the Labour Party’s sports minister in waiting.

Shadow Sports Minister Rosenna Allin-Khan said in an interview with The Times today: “The industry keeps telling us that they are committed to reducing the amount of gambling advertising in football. And yet this season there will actually be an increase in the number of football clubs sponsored by gambling companies.”

“The relationship is now so out of control we are seeing the names pf players becoming synonymous with gambling brands. The apparent sponsorship of  Wayne Rooney’s move to Derby County has taken things to a whole new level.”