Are sports sponsorships promoting gambling to children?

Are sports sponsorships promoting gambling to children?

Friday, November 6, 2015 Totally Gaming
A new survey suggests children are becoming aware of gambling brands through shirt sponsorships

A new report suggests that children are gaining a "heightened awareness" of the gambling industry through sports advertising.

Dr Samantha Thomas of Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, found some 77 per cent of five to 12-year-olds surveyed could link a sporting team to its sponsoring brand.

Thomas suggested that the results were a cause of concern as she believes sponsorship creates a sense of endorsement between sports club and brand, with fast food, gambling and alcohol companies among those recognised by the minors.

"The research shows that the older the kids are, the more aware they are of the intent of the marketing," Thomas said. "There is a heightened awareness of what the marketing is trying to get you to do.

"When kids see the logo on a jersey, they think that product's doing something good for the team, whereas we know that the point of the logo is to get people to consume more of the product."

The 85 children were shown two white boards, one of which had magnets bearing sporting team logos and the other magnets with a range of brands. They were then asked to simply place the brands wherever they liked on the first whiteboard, with the teams. Of the 85 children who participated in the study, 81 played an organised sport. About three quarters said they had watched sport in the previous week.

While gambling firms may be restricted as to the when they can advertise on television, Thomas suggested that sponsorships allowed brands to be promoted at times of the day when children would watching.

"It's not just in the commercial break, it is embedded in the game," said Thomas. "You can't just turn the TV off in the ad break."

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