If you’ve watched Premier League matches over the last few years, you would have noticed betting company logos printed on the front of players' shirt. Football and gambling are two highly profitable industries that have grown to become closely associated with one another. Through sponsorships, betting companies market themselves to millions of sports enthusiasts, and in turn, Premier League clubs are rewarded with millions of pounds. So how did Premier League betting sponsorships evolve, which betting sponsorships are ongoing, and what lies ahead?
Table of Contents
- Best Betting Sites Sponsoring Premier League Teams
- Best Betting Sites Sponsoring Premier League Teams – Listed
- 2020/21 Premier League Betting Sponsors for Every Team
- Premier League Betting Sponsors Throughout the Years
- How Does Premier League Betting Sponsorship Compare to Other Leagues?
- The Future of Football Betting Sponsorships
- Evolution of Premier League Betting Sponsorships FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say
|Arsenal||Sportsbet.io (official betting partner)|
|Aston Villa||LT (sleeve sponsors)|
|Brighton||Betway (official betting partner)|
|Burnley||LoveBet (shirt & sleeve sponsors), Dafabet(other partner)|
|Crystal Palace||W88 (shirt sponsors)|
|Everton||Parimatch (shirt sponsors)|
|Fulham||BetVictor (shirt sponsors)|
|Leeds United||SBOTOP (shirt sponsors), bet365 (betting partner)|
|Leicester United||Yabo Sports (official betting partner), Parimatch (official training kit partner), bet365, W88, Betway (other partners)|
|Manchester City||Marathonbet (training kit sponsors)|
|Manchester United||Yabo Sports (official betting partner)|
|Newcastle United||Fun88 (kit sponsors), MansionBet, bet365(other partners)|
|Southampton||Sportsbet.io(shirt sponsors), Unibet(other partner)|
|Tottenham Hotspur||William Hill (official betting partner)|
|West Bromwich Albion||12bet(sleeve sponsors), bet365(other partner)|
|West Ham United||Betway(shirt sponsors)|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||ManBetX(shirt sponsors), bet365(other partner)|
Premier League Betting Sponsors Throughout the Years
Given how many we see today, it's quite incredible to think that it took until the 2002/03 season for a betting company to make an appearance in the English top flight. That year, The Cottagers (Fulham) brandished Betfair on their home and away strips. It proved to be a pivotal moment, paving the way for more betting companies to market themselves on a Premier League stage.
Since then, an increasing number of teams have penned deals with gaming companies. At least 10 teams have had betting logos emblazoned across the front of their shirts or on their shirt sleeves since the 2016/17 season, with the joint highest being 11 in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. Out of the record-breaking £349.1 million made from shirt sponsorship deals in the 2019/20 season, £68.6 million was raised from gambling brands.
Betting logos aren’t only displayed the front of players’ shirts. Since the 2017/18 season, teams have been granted the opportunity to sell an 100cm2 area on their left sleeves to commercial partners, worth approximately an extra £3 million in revenue for every club. Betting logos like 12Bet, Lovebet and LT can now be spotted on the sleeves of West Brom, Burnley and Aston Villa kits respectively.
Sponsorships also extend beyond match-day kits. Training kit sponsorships have become a common sight nowadays, with teams like Manchester City and Leicester City advertising betting brands solely during training sessions and warmups.
As well as shirts, companies frequently pay for pitch side perimeter advertising and in-stadia advertising. Anyone who watches Premier League football will have noticed betting brands being advertised on billboards during live matches. Apart from that, whole stands and stadiums have been named after sponsors, with Stoke City’s bet365 stadium being the most obvious example.
We can’t forget to mention the predominance of betting adverts on television. A BBC investigation found that a whopping 95% of TV advertising breaks during live football matches featured a gambling ad for the likes of bet365, Ladbrokes & Paddy Power. This included the build-up, half time intervals and post-match discussions on the Sky Sports, BT Sport and ITV channels. An estimated £150 was spent by gambling firms on TV adverts in 2016 alone, with celebrities like José Mourinho, Michael Owen and Harry Redknapp often playing a central role.
How Does Premier League Betting Sponsorship Compare to Other Leagues?
The Premier League isn’t the only English division with close ties to gaming companies. Two thirds of Championship clubs have betting sponsorships on their kits, and the EFL Championship itself is sponsored by SkyBet. These deals – totalling around £40m – provide a crucial source of income for Championship clubs, especially given the financial ramifications of (at the time of writing) the ongoing pandemic.
Outside of England, the Spanish La Liga has seen multiple betting sponsorships in recent years. Perhaps the most notable and expensive partnership took place between Real Madrid and bwin, who sponsored the Spanish giants between 2007 and 2013. Gambling sponsorships represent a crucial source of revenue for Spanish clubs, with 17 La Liga clubs maintaining commercial ties with a gambling brand, and 7 of them (35%) being kit sponsors. These include bwin for Valencia, Plus500 for Atletico Madrid and Marathonbet for Sevilla.
However, the 2020/21 season is set to be the last that Spanish teams are able to promote gambling operators on their kits, after it was announced that regulations would be introduced limiting gambling advertising to just one hour per day between 1am and 5am. In doing so, they will follow in the footsteps of Italy, who have restricted gambling-related sponsorships and advertising in conjunction with sporting events since July 2019. While they’ll still be able to partner up with bookmakers, Spanish teams won’t be able to advertise them on their kits, and there’s also talk of a ban on in-stadia betting advertising. These changes could cost Spanish clubs up to €80 million.
There is no such ban in France, with Ligue 1 and 2 recently inking a betting partnership with French-based bookie Betclic. Only 1 French team – Montpellier – had their shirt sponsored by a betting company in 2019/20, but 17 of the 20 teams (85%) held partnerships with 13 different gambling firms.
A similar story follows the German Bundesliga. There have only been a handful of betting logos advertised on German teams’ playing attire in recent seasons, with Sunmaker (Padernborn) the only main betting shirt sponsor during 2019/20.
The Future of Football Betting Sponsorships
The relationship between English football and the gambling industry has been increasingly scrutinised in recent years, with pressure mounting on the government to intervene.
A 2017 study found that during three episodes of BBC highlights programme “Match of The Day”, gambling logos or branding appeared on screen for between 71% to 89% of the show’s running time. People have continually voiced their dissatisfaction with the authorities’ lack of effort in reducing exposure to these adverts, especially since so many underage supporters follow the league religiously.
An upcoming government review on these sponsorships could lead to a potential blanket ban on football betting sites marketing their products through major sports. This would see them joining a host of other European countries, like Italy, Netherlands and Turkey in taking a stand against gambling advertising.
English clubs should have a clearer picture on the situation before the 2021/22 season. With huge stacks of money on the line, any decision taken by the government will undoubtedly have huge implications moving forward.
Evolution of Premier League Betting Sponsorships FAQs
📅 When was the first betting sponsorship in the Premier League?
Fulham became the first Premier League team to be sponsored by a betting company during the 2002/2003 season, when they struck a deal with Betfair.
🤝 How many teams have betting sponsors and partnerships during the 2020/21 season?
A total of 16 Premier League clubs have agreed partnerships with betting companies during the 2020/21 season, with 8 of these clubs advertising betting logos on the front of their shirts.
🌐 What lies ahead for Premier League betting sponsorships?
A government review of the Gambling Act is set to take place before the start of the 2021/22, amid growing pressure to ban betting sponsorships in the Premier League.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
Gambling companies have become deeply rooted in the modern-day fabric of “The Beautiful Game”, providing clubs with millions of pounds to spend. The revenue they generate through these lucrative deals is a key part of their income streams, and has played a significant role in financing the top talent we see in the Premier League today. However, there has and will continue to be much discussion centred around the ethics associated with gambling advertising, meaning the UK government has a big decision on their hands.