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13 out of the 24 champion sides now sport the names of bookmakers and casinos on their official jerseys. What’s the deal and why has this happened?
What’s the Deal with Betting?
We are fans of Leeds and we love football. We follow the games, we love and at times even worship the players and we associate everything with the clubs that we support. For us, football is very much a case of identity. It’s who we are more than what it is who we support. But how many of us really pay attention to every small detail?
More importantly, to what extent are we influenced by the nature of our beloved Leeds’ apparel? More to the point, does the fact that our famous white jersey has 32Red written all over it make us feel any sort of affiliation with that particular brand?
It’s official: 13 of the 24 champions sides now sport casinos or bookmakers’ logos on their official shirts. When considering that during the 2008/2009 season not a single club did so, one must wonder, what has changed?
One Thing Leading to Another
Whatever the reasons behind the sudden change, it’s interesting to note the extent of it all. There are even three gambling brands sponsoring two teams each. Ambitious, by any measure. Gambling brand 888 has taken on Birmingham as well as Nottingham Forest, Leo Vegas paves the way for Brentford and Norwich, and Tempobet makes the magic happen for Burton and Preston North End.
What’s more, even clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United who do not necessarily carry gambling names on their official shirts, still have it somewhere on the rest of their training kit.
As far as what true brand association is concerned, Betway has probably done it just a little bit more effective than the rest. The betting brand has been associated with West Ham for quite some time now, and their loyalty is quite evident.
And really, whether the average fan is in support of the fact that betting brands are this active in football sponsorships, or not, it sure beats the hell out of alcohol sponsorships. Online casinos sponsoring major clubs and even single matches is a dynamic that is establishing a foothold all over the world, including sports betting NZ and its Australian counterpart.
It’s All Business
As for the more discerning fans, some are asking why? To some, the connection between football sponsorships and gambling companies may seem somewhat random. Both are into games, but the games are vastly different. However, when taking a closer look, one begins to realise that gambling companies and football clubs have more in common than what one may think.
For a start, competition between gambling companies can be described as nothing short of rife. Online gambling has exploded onto the scene since first making its way into the digital arena back in the late 1990’s. Today, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
And the truth is, business can’t be expected to busy themselves trying to convert the already converted. By that logic, an online casino cannot be expected to market itself to existing bettors only. In order to expand and be successful, it’s important that it markets itself to new customers. What better way to achieve this than to cotton onto a major football brand such as Leeds United?
When looking at it from a business perspective, it makes sense for both parties.