Are betting and casino sponsors here to stay?
If you watch a football game on TV today, no matter what teams are playing, what league they’re in, or even what broadcaster owns the channel, you will be exposed to some form of advertisement for an iGaming company.
iGaming is the term given to companies that accept bets for casino games, sportsbooks, bingo, and lotteries through the internet. Today, even traditional bookmakers have moved into the digital space, making them iGaming brands as well.
These sports betting and casino companies sponsor teams and leagues and they regularly run commercials during games, spending millions each year to make sure their brands are recognised by sports fans.
Ahead of the 2019/20 Premier League season, The Drum reported that just three of the clubs competing that year didn’t have some form of partnership with a betting brand. One of these clubs, Brighton & Hove Albion has since signed a contract with a new “Official Global Betting Partner”.
In fact, around half of the teams competing in the Premier League today have a shirt sponsorship deal with an iGaming company, meaning their logo is emblazoned across the chest of each player while they play.
The value that these deals have for iGaming companies is obvious. Football betting is a lucrative business for them, with more than £12 billion wagered by fans each year. And with so much competition in the market, being at the forefront of fans’ minds at the point in which they are most likely to make a bet is important.
Sponsoring clubs can also create a positive association for fans when looking for a bookmaker to use, making shirt and stadium sponsorship deals very attractive.
But that isn’t the only value these deals have for iGaming companies. Most operate across multiple markets, offering sports betting, casino games and poker. This means that companies who acquire football fans as customers can target them with additional promotions and offers to encourage them to also use their other services such as playing live casino roulette.
This significantly increases the value of each customer, particularly since casino games can be enjoyed at any time, while sports bets are mostly made in the lead up to and during a match.
Outside of government intervention like has been proposed in Spain and by the British House of Lords, there doesn’t appear to be any factors that would subdue the enthusiasm of iGaming brands from sponsoring football teams.
The market is highly competitive, this can be seen from the huge signup and first deposit bonuses offered to new customers. Therefore, these companies need to use these sponsorship deals to maintain recognition.
The market for online casino games and sports betting continues to grow in the UK and across Europe. We’re starting to see signs of market maturity with large mergers and acquisitions taking place between some of the biggest companies, though there are still plenty of new entrants launching each year.
It won’t be until the market has matured further that we’ll see these brands pulling back on their spending. Therefore, expect to see betting logos on football players’ chests for some time yet.