Football clubs target commercial growth with gambling sponsorship

Football clubs target commercial growth with gambling sponsorship

Friday, July 3, 2015 Totally Gaming
West Brom will wear TLCBET on their shirts next season

A number of football clubs from two of Europe’s leading leagues have this week secured sponsorship deals with various companies within the gambling industry.

Bayern Munich, recently-crowned champion of Germany’s Bundesliga top-tier, has entered into a partnership with sports betting and casino games company Tipico.

Under the four-year deal, which runs from 2015-16 through to 2018-19, Tipico will become a premium partner of the club alongside various major brands such as German airline Lufthansa and global logistics firm DHL.

“Bayern Munich is a role model for all the world’s football clubs, and Tipico as German market leader is an ideal partner at the side of Germany’s most successful club,” Tipico chief executive officer Jan Bolz said.

Meanwhile, English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion this week struck a deal for Asian betting company TLCBet to become its new principal partner, in a one-year agreement that will run for the duration of the 2015-16 season.

The deal, a record sponsorship agreement for the club and believed to be worth around £1.5m (€2.11m/$2.34m), will see the TLCBet logo placed on the front of players’ shirts. The betting company will also acquire other Albion-related rights as it seeks greater exposure, but believes it can aid the club’s popularity in its key markets in Asia.

TLCBet brand director Mike Chong said: “Following our success in the Far East, this deal amplifies our ambitions to put the TLCBET brand onto the global stage. This collaboration will be mutually beneficial and we are confident that we can help promote West Bromwich Albion to our customers in China. Similarly, we hope to be able to engage a global audience, starting with local communities in the UK, through our affiliation with West Bromwich Albion.”

In addition, fellow West Midlands Premier League side Aston Villa has struck a unique double deal with Betfair and Bet365, under which the online operators will acquire co-exclusive rights in the club’s betting category.

Both brands will have the rights to be associated with Aston Villa – which had Dafabet as its shirt sponsor for two years until last month - in addition to benefiting from a branding presence on in-stadium LED boards and interview backdrops.

Charlie Wijeratna, chief commercial officer at Aston Villa, said: “Commercially, the club has two aims - we want to partner with good brands that will activate extensively and we want to increase our commercial revenues so we can compete with the best on the pitch.”

Elsewhere, AFC Bournemouth, which gained promotion to the Premier League from the second-tier Championship last season, has agreed a deal with Mansion Group for the online operator to become its official shirt sponsor.

Under the deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, Mansion Group branding will appear on the front of players’ shirts. The operator – formerly the shirt sponsor of fellow Premier League side Tottenham Hotpur - will also work with the club on a range of commercial projects and marketing activities.

Sagi Lahav, chief executive officer of Mansion Group, said: “We are excited to be working closely with AFC Bournemouth across a range of endeavours that will further enhance and develop both of our brands. This partnership will also allow AFC Bournemouth fans and our casino members alike, to benefit from the deal.”


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