Football’s Relationship with Casinos and Gambling

Football is the most popular sport in the world with fans in all corners of the globe. It’s against this backdrop that many corporate brands pay top dollar for association with this popular sport. The casino industry has emerged as one of the most active partners in football.

Many football clubs and leagues across the world now boast casino operators among their sponsors. In the 2019/20 English Premier League (EPL) season for season, half of the clubs had sponsorship deals from a gambling company on their jersey.

Playing casinos online is becoming more and more popular in Thailand, and there’s a corresponding rise in football sponsorship. It’s no wonder that a recent report found sports betting brands today dominate sponsorship in this Asian country.

History of Football Gambling Sponsorships

The most significant step towards this sponsorship trend started with Bwin, an online gaming company In 2005, the small company signed a sponsorship agreement with Portugal’s first-tier football league. This was a milestone for gambling companies across the world.

When two years later the company sponsored Spanish football giants Real Madrid, everyone started to notice. It was a revolution that no one had foreseen. It  was mainly possible due to internet technology which had allowed more people to play at online casinos and sportsbooks.

The online gambling industry was thriving and these brands had money to spend. Bwin had started a revolutionary trend and today, it has grown into one of the most visible gambling sites in the world.

Does Football Sponsorships Help Gambling Brands?

When Bwin and other gambling brands started sponsoring big football clubs and top-tier leagues, not many had expected this trend to last. Many analysts underestimated the power of internet marketing which gambling sponsors had discovered early.

Casinos and sportsbooks benefit a lot from partnering with football clubs and leagues in the following ways:

Global Exposure

When a small betting company sponsored Real Madrid, it was the perfect opportunity to showcase the brand across the globe. Football has a global appeal and when people started noticing stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo wearing branded shirts, they went online to research the betting company.

This exposure helped grow the gambling company’s reputation. They enjoyed brand awareness levels they could never have achieved through any other platform. Today, the largest gambling operators scramble to sponsor football clubs to showcase themselves to the world.

It might be expensive to sponsor a top football club but the ROI is much higher. Small betting sites that risked everything to sponsor big clubs and leagues have grown into market leaders. Millions of fans following matches see those logos on their favourite teams’ jersey and they start digging more about the brands.

Leveraging Fans’ Emotions

If a football fan loves a club or player, they will also associate with any sponsor on the team’s jersey. This excitement is what gambling sponsors tap. When a football fan sees that betting site logo several times, they will eventually start associating with the brand.

Football fans love their clubs’ sponsors and this is why brands inject millions of dollars into sponsorship programmes. Most sponsorship deals also include advertising opportunities using sponsored teams or their players. It is an easy way to win over fans and encourage them to use products or services.

Building Positive Stories

By partnering with popular football teams, online casinos can finally tell their side of the story. Many anti-gambling campaigns generate a lot of negative stories about this market. Casinos can now showcase their efforts to promote responsible gambling, their corporate social responsibility campaigns and other community projects.

These active partnerships help gambling brands to promote their services and show their value proposition. By showing their more humane side, this industry can grow positively alongside the football industry.

Growing Revenues

The digital landscape is highly competitive. Marketers have to come up with innovative strategies to stay afloat. Sponsoring football leagues and teams is one of the smartest tactics to boost sales. Teams use their highly active social media platforms to promote their sponsors.

This means encouraging fans to use the sponsors’ websites. Teams can also publish links to their sponsors’ websites and this boosts web traffic and also conversion rates. Football sponsors see a rise in subscriptions, website traffic, revenues, engagement levels and brand visibility.

Opportunities for Targeted Marketing

If a casino sponsors a Thai football team, it’s easy for them to promote exclusive offers to the local market. If it’s an international brand, such offers won’t apply to other users on their website. Targeted marketing is highly effective in the digital landscape.

Perfect Marketing Partnership

Football and the gambling world have become naturally intertwined for several reasons. They both elicit excitement. Gambling companies leverage this excitement to promote their brands through sponsorship agreements. It is a perfect marketing partnership.

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