Sports betting companies continue to be prominent in the world of football. This is mainly in the form of shirt sponsorships and sports facilities, but companies also fill the screens with adverts before, after and during matches.
This link is perhaps most apparent in the UK. In the Premier League alone, clubs such as Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham all have their shirts sponsored by bookmakers. In the Championship, England's second tier, more than half of the 24 teams have sponsorship deals with these companies. This prominence stretches as far as the actual stadiums in which they play, the most notable example being Stoke City's Bet365 stadium.
While countries such as Italy and Spain have restricted the influence of such companies in the world of football, this has come at a price. As the Premier League boasted over 80 million euros in revenue in 2020, Italy's strict banning in 2019 has seen a decrease of around 100 million in income. This may help to explain the financial benefits to football clubs, but what do bookmakers gain from being projected across the world of football?
Simply put, the world of betting has changed. Gone are the days of going into the bookmakers in person and placing each individual bet. Instead, you have the world of betting literally in the palm of your hand. With the simple click of an interface, you can bet on a whole host of leagues from around the world. As the world of betting moves online, football sponsorship provides companies with vast exposure, resulting in maximised participation from users in every corner of the planet.
The global scale of betting has allowed users to place bets on leagues across the continents, sometimes in competitions which were unknown to many a few decades ago. Brazil football in particular is proving popular with fanatics, as matches are often shown late at night and are completely separate from the competition of European leagues. Websites such as Bet365 offer a wide range of options, often customisable, meaning there is always a bet to suit the customer.
Of course, there are many who have pointed towards the negative side of football clubs blatantly advertising such websites, such as the risk of addiction. However, the message of gambling responsibly is ever-present in advertisements - either on the TV or around the ground - meaning that football always treats such issues with serious care. With the considerations of the customer always in mind, and with the mutual benefits provided to both the companies and football organisations, it's not hard to see how bookmakers have developed into a crucial element of the modern game.