Professional football is a big business nowadays with millions of pounds involved. If you look around, you will see many top clubs are sponsored by online casinos and gambling companies. This is no coincidence.
In the Premier League, for example, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham are some of those sponsored by gambling firms while West Brom have one for one of their secondary sponsors. Why are gambling firms so involved in football shirt sponsorship? Simply because of the huge amount of money and exposure. In the Championship, the second tier of England, more than half the clubs have sponsorship deals with gambling companies.
Clubs need money to help pay for the best players and gambling firms are some of the few sponsors who are able to fork out so much money. Furthermore, sponsoring a football team's shirt means plenty of exposure. Your firm gets shown for 90 minutes a game over the course of around 40-50 matches per season to an audience all across the world making it a great way to globalise your brand. Even after the match, your brand still gets publicity.
A newspaper report including a photo from the fixture will likely see your sponsor visible while football shirts are also a must have for many supporters. Any fan who buys their team's shirt will be able to see the sponsor all the time. It is a great way to get people to get to know your business. This is especially important during the current COVID-19 pandemic as online casinos have become popular because people have been stuck indoors.
It you fancy online gambling, it is worth looking around to see which is the best online casino for you. It is recommended you shop around looking for the best deal and make sure it is a reputable company. The large majority offer welcome bonuses to get people started and you can play plenty of games online such as slots, blackjack and roulette.
The big advantage of online gambling is that it never closes. You can play at any time of the day from any part of the world from the comfort of your own home. The large choice of games means there is something for everyone. However, just like any form of gambling, please only bet what you can afford to lose.
Another reason for gambling companies sponsoring football teams is that they are tapping into a market they know likes gambling. Sports betting and football betting in particular is extremely popular whether it be online, at the bookies or even at the football ground putting a bet on the first goalscorer. Therefore, football and football supporters are seen as a good target audience. It is not only in England where gambling sponsorship is common.
In Spain, online gambling has increased in popularity amongst 18 to 25 year olds. 28% of new users come from this age group, but that has led to problems for both the gaming industry and football clubs. The Spanish Government has introduced a law ordering all football clubs to terminate any sponsorship deals involving football clubs by 30th August. As 15 of the 20 La Liga clubs are sponsored by gambling companies, this has led to concern amongst teams.
Only Eibar, Getafe, Huesca, Real Sociedad and Valladolid are not involved and the other 15 clubs are concerned. Their lucrative sponsorship deals are forced to come to an end and they will have to find other means to help balance the books.
Spain are not the only country thinking of banning gambling on football shirts. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in January that his Government would "likely support" a ban on gambling sponsorship deals in football later in the year.
While Governments are concerned about the effects sponsorship has on gambling addiction, the leglislation could be very damaging for football clubs. Would fans back any ban if it meant their club had to sell their best players and potentially miss out on Champions League qualification? The issue is a controversial and complex one, but it could have major implications on many top football clubs.