News Detail

The shirt chest ads or a ban on bookmakers

4/12/2021 9:41:42 AM

    Burnley's shirt chest was also advertised by bookmakers.

    How much would it cost if European football clubs no longer had the word "bet" or the Arabic number eight on their chests?

    England's fourth-tier professional leagues alone will lose ?110m per game in apparent sponsorship. Indeed, over the past decade, a variety of gambling-related sponsors have become the main sponsors of 92 clubs in England's fourth division.

    So will the "gambling abstinence" of football sponsorship in the face of the epidemic further affect the survival of English clubs?

    Bwin was also sponsored by Real Madrid.

    Gambling everywhere

    In addition to the Premier League's Big6 clubs, a handful of online gambling outfits registered on offshore islands have monopolised the market for sponsorship of England's fourth-tier leagues. And even as members of the Big6 club, Tottenham Hotspur have a history of sponsorship and betting.

    The other Big 6 clubs in the Premier League also have "betting partners" - but they have not been given access to the main sponsorship territory on their chest.

    This kind of "only consider the money, not the reason" attitude of sponsorship marketing, has long caused a wide discussion in the UK.

    The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is putting together a white paper that will take a panoramic look at the links between gambling and the Sport industry.

    The links between gambling establishments and professional football and sport are unlikely to be cleaned up any time soon, even if the British government steps in.

    But there is a good chance that the British government will follow the example of Italy and Spain, recognising the "deeply unhealthy influence" that gambling sponsorships have on the young population covered by football, and demand that they be removed from the chests of football clubs' shirts.

    At the height of the betting industry's sponsorship of football, even clubs such as Real Madrid had betting backers on their backs.

    And the English Premier League like Manchester United, Liverpool, such as the most big brand, from the club operator's point of view, there will be no rejection of the "gambling" psychology, but there is bound to be a concern about the overall brand cleanliness of the club.

    But now the social environment and the attitudes of governments in Europe have changed and the big clubs are bound to conform to mainstream values. So Manchester United, which recently announced a new sponsor, chose TeamViewer, an IT agency based in Germany.

    Among Ed Woodward and the Glazers' choices, US car companies could not afford to pay, financial institutions could not offer prices, and potential sponsors, such as a Chinese company in Shenzhen years ago, were suspected of being interested in taking advantage of Manchester United.

    Without the choice of bookmakers, Manchester United returned to Europe with a new sponsor, a new partner who would have done almost everything right.

    Sunderland's chest ads used to be betting.

    An attractive price tag

    In the sports sponsorship market, one of the most frequently asked questions is - does it affect your support for a club that is backed by a betting machine?

    Most fans say they don't care, but the bookmakers' sponsorship, of course, is not aimed primarily at the European leagues, but at Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea.

    The high visibility of Premier League games and secondary transmission arrival rates through social media and video media are all reasons why these bookmakers are willing to spend huge sums of money on Premier League clubs to compete for a front row position.

    Even this season, of the 20 clubs in the Premier League, eight still have betting sponsors.

    On a more transparent level, the high-performing West Ham United earn about ?10m a season from their betting "partners". Newcastle United, on the verge of relegation, will also earn around ?7.5m this season.

    Professional managers are tempted by the fact that these gambling establishments have deep pockets and are willing to pay at least twice as much as traditional sponsors of professional football.

    These gambling operators, almost all of them online, are registered in "tax havens" on offshore islands and operate independently of UK or EU laws and taxes. The whole structure is a loophole in the existing legal system.

    League One is even a direct Skybet title sponsorship.

    Is it important to be alive or to be clean?

    While there is still a lot of debate about de-gambling, many Premier League clubs are slowly getting back on track.

    Outside Manchester United, mid-table clubs such as Aston Villa and Everton have a long history and a strong community identity - they will gradually forgo the cash riches offered by bookmakers as they look for future chest sponsors.

    Both clubs start next season sponsored by Cazoo, the online car rental agency that has recently become active in sports sponsorship: Villa ?12m over two years, Everton ?29m over three years - and Cazoo's logo can be seen at many snooker matches these days.

    Why would Cazoo sponsor two large and expensive Premier League clubs at once? Chesterman, the company's founder, replies :" We started by targeting people in different cities, and we chose two clubs that have a lot in common with growing companies like us."

    Everton is operating under less pressure than many European clubs, given the deep pockets of the club's majority owner, Sergey Mosely, and Russia's richest man, Vladimir Usmanov, behind him.

    But for the rest of the Premier League, as well as the lower third division, the "no betting on your chest" policy could make business difficult for many more clubs.

    The epidemic has hit lower-tier clubs, which rely heavily on ticket sales from fans, and most are on the brink of bankruptcy without short-term government borrowing.

    "If your club doesn't have a rich and generous owner, how much do you care about making clean money?" This is the CEO of a League One (third division) club speaking directly to the media.

    It is conceivable that a lot of profit will have to be sacrificed in order to clean up -- a scene reminiscent of the "gender-neutral" name of Chinese football clubs.