Betting has been closely linked to football in the United Kingdom, especially over the last 30 years, ever since the advent of the Premier League.
The arrival of Sky, and more recently BT Sport, to deliver virtually every game live to people’s homes, in conjunction with their high-speed internet connections has meant that more and more people watch football today, while access to the internet has also allowed betting companies to flourish.
Sports betting is more popular than ever, as people can place bets on matches with just a few taps on their smartphones, and in-play odds make it even more interesting, as punters can place bets during matches itself.
Sites such as www.betting.co.uk/casino/offers/ and others usually have promotions and offers running for new customers, while the link between the sport and betting can also be seen with the number of teams that are sponsored by sports betting companies.
Partnering with the world’s biggest sport
These deals are worth millions of pounds, as betting companies can position themselves prominently in front of their target audience.
The attraction of such partnerships for Premier League clubs lies in the amount of money they receive, and the 2020/21 season began with 17 of the 20 clubs having some form of association with a sports betting brand, either as the main shirt sponsor or by having them on board as the club’s preferred betting partner.
Nearly half of those 17 teams had a betting brand’s logo on the front of their shirts, which is the prime real estate for sponsorships, while two had them on their sleeves.
The likes of Bet365, Betway, BetVictor, Parimatch and Sportsbet had the most visibility, with quite a few Chinese brands as well. West Ham United had the most lucrative deal, making £20 million per season from their deal with Betway, while the likes of Southampton, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Burnley, Fulham, Leeds United and Newcastle United also made significant sums of money through their respective deals.
This is a far cry from the situation as recently as the 2002/03 season, where there were no betting company logos seen on the front of Premier League shirts.
Fulham were the first to partner with an iGaming brand that season, bringing Betfair onto their home and away jerseys, and this opened the doors for similar partnerships.
Nearly £69 million of the £349 million raised through sponsorships by clubs in the 2019/20 season came through betting companies, which shows how they have become an integral part of the financial aspect for clubs.
It is not just through shirt sponsorship deals that such partnerships are made – today, there are several deals where clubs display betting brands on their training and warmup kits only, as clubs try to diversify their income streams and increase sponsorship opportunities wherever possible.
Brand visibility is no longer limited to player strips
Along with this, betting brands also pay significant amounts for pitchside advertising as well as in other spots around the stadium, while there are also instances of betting companies taking the naming rights for stadiums as well, with Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium being the most recent example.
Gambling organisations have laid very firm roots in modern-day football and generate millions of pounds for the participating football clubs.
This revenue constitutes a key portion of the overall income earned by these clubs and helps them scout the top talent that Premier League is well known for today.
Having said that, it can’t be denied that betting and football going hand in hand is a controversial topic, something that will continue getting discussed at all levels in the UK football going forward.