Sports fans in Europe know how big sports betting sponsorship deals are. Think of it this way – half of the Premier League’s shirts for 2019-20 season are emblazoned with a sports betting company logo. While this may be strange to North America soccer fans, this phenomenon is arriving in the US. Last year, MLS opened up commercial sponsorships to sports betting companies. With the way things are, other leagues may do the same soon. Until then, let’s look at the benefits sports betting sponsorship deals bring.
Increased brand awareness
It’s obvious that having an influential sports team wear your company’s logo can do wonders for any brand. Sports betting companies can benefit even more from it, as they’re directly connected to sports. Any deal they sign with a sports team has the potential to increase brand awareness and deliver positive PR. It can even increase player loyalty.
What’s extremely interesting about it is that sports fans view it as a part of the TV experience. Take away all the sports betting sponsorships and the feeling isn’t the same. This is particularly true among younger people who watch sports every weekend.
More money in sports
There’s no need to say that sports betting companies put large amounts of money into sports. They primarily invest in soccer, but it’s not uncommon for them to sponsor other sports clubs. Just this season, Premier League clubs made a combined $85 million from displaying branding of gambling companies. The amounts of money clubs in other leagues make from these sponsorships are relatively lower but still astonishing.
The popularity of soccer is growing across the world and clubs constantly need more money to stay on top. They partner up with sports betting companies and use that money to buy players, improve facilities and build bigger stadiums. Gambling companies even support some club’s scouting systems and provide them with finances for finding youth talent.
In 2015, West Ham United signed a sponsorship deal with Betway casino. The deal was the biggest commercial deal in the club’s history. Just a year later, West Ham United secured enough money to move to a bigger stadium. They completed the move to the London Stadium in 2016, which helped the club take their operations to the next level. Betway casino was aware of what this means for the club and they made even more funds available to them.
It didn’t take long for the casino to find a new club they can sponsor. In 2018, they signed a deal with Deportivo Alaves in La Liga. They already had dealt with CD Leganes and Levante UD. Sponsoring Spanish clubs was exactly what the company wanted to do. By doing so, they expanded their reach and started attracting new players. La Liga is popular in Latin American countries, which opened up plenty of new opportunities for Betway.
Acquiring better players
Soccer fans always want to see their favourite clubs to bring new and exciting players. Transfer fees have never been higher with Neymar joining PSG for record-breaking $245 million in 2017. With rising stars like Killian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, we might get to see someone break this record quite soon. High transfer fees require clubs to turn to bet companies for financial help.
Without sponsors, clubs wouldn’t be able to spend such large amounts of money and assemble teams that can compete on a high level. This is one of the biggest reasons why soccer teams are singing sponsorship deals with gambling companies. What’s more, clubs even need financial aid from their sponsors just to keep players currently on the contract. This is mostly because some players seek transfers to the leagues in which the financial terms are more favourable.
The bottom line
Sports betting sponsorship deals aren’t just about money. Fans consider them to be an important part of the experience that makes the game more fun. However, it also injects large amounts of money into sports, making it even more exciting for fans and helping clubs grow.
As mentioned above, MLS has already made it possible for clubs to sign deals with gambling companies. While the NBA and NFL aren’t there just yet, we might get to see this change soon.
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