Whenever there’s a half-time break in any European big league match, it’s time for plenty of advertisements. That in itself is no surprise, of course.
However, soccer fans from North America might find it strange to see so many betting sponsorships all over. The phenomenon is just getting bigger and bigger each year. This year, MSL became the first US league to allow betting partnerships.
In 2018, a game of fortune companies spent about $63 million on Premier League soccer sponsorships. So, what’s the deal exactly? Let’s explore the angles.
Benefits of Sponsorships
Having a famous and influential sports team or athlete promote a service or product is guaranteed to drive sales. Such deals can increase customer loyalty, deliver positive PR, and raise brand awareness.
Companies and consumers don’t consider sponsorships and endorsements to be cold, money-grabbing schemes. Research shows that the general public believes such deals are a part of the TV experience. It also shows that they are particularly attractive to younger demographics.
More Money in Sports
It is pretty clear that betting companies put enormous amounts of money into soccer, and some other sports as well. The Premier League, particularly, is considered by many to be one of the best soccer leagues. It’s no wonder it has some of the world’s top players.
The standard of soccer is increasing all over the planet. Leagues and teams need all the help they can get to stay on top.
By partnering up with companies that deal with games of chance, teams can secure more than sufficient funds for various purposes. They can use that money to build bigger stadiums, improve training facilities, but also support their local community.
Both major and minor teams like to invest significant amounts of money into local youth sports. Teams would not have such financial freedom if it weren’t for the betting companies.
Every soccer fan knows that buying players is expensive, to say the least. It’s like there’s a new record-setting transfer every year. Two years ago, Paris-Saint-Germain FC bought Neymar for a record-breaking $245 million.
Without the cash provided by betting partners, teams would have significantly less money to spend on transfers. That could be the major reason why more and more leagues are opening their doors to betting companies. If their clubs don’t have the funds, players will go to other leagues, where the financial terms are more favorable.
Back in 2015, West Ham United made a deal with Betway casino. It was a relatively routine deal, at the time. The company secured hefty funds for West Ham, although they were not something the club has never seen before.
Fast forward two years: West Ham United relocates to a brand new stadium in London. Things were going pretty good for the team, the move ushered a new era for them.
Betway saw the move as a new opportunity that could benefit both parties. Because of that, the company decided to up their game and poured even more cash into their deal.
In 2018, the same company signed an agreement with Deportivo Alavés, a La Liga team. Betway already had a deal in place with CD Leganés and Levante UD, Deportivo Alavés La Liga rivals. The new deal was just a build upon the previous deals.
It was the team’s third season in La Liga and they had finished 14th pre previous season. Betway gave them a chance to grow together.
But, what did the betting giant stand to gain? An “in” to a somewhat untapped market. La Liga has many fans all across the globe, but particularly in the Hispanhosphere. Partnering up with Spanish teams was a sure way to anchor themselves in a new region.
There have always been public health concerns with games of chance. While it is true that sports betting is a fun and exciting form of entertainment that allows fans to get more involved with their favorite sport, some people are wired for gambling.
In truth, there are public health concerts with alcohol as well, but Heineken is still one of the major sponsors of the Champions League. We are yet to see whether governments and leagues will impose stricter restrictions on such sponsorships.
When it comes to sports betting partnerships, it’s not all about the money. It’s about fun! Dedicated sports fans like to get more involved with their favorite sports and teams, and not just emotionally.
Whether it’s through playing FIFA 2018 on a gaming console, or trough friendly wagers between pals, there are always ways to make the game more fun. What’s better than teasing your buddy when your team defeats theirs? Taking twenty bucks from them in the process!
Betting giants are all big sports fans, naturally, just like the rest of us. Perhaps the biggest reason behind betting sponsorship is that they just want to join in on the fun!