British sports betting giant Bet365 is sponsoring no fewer than 10 teams in Spain’s La Liga.
This means that almost every major football event in Spain will feature Bet365’s advertising, given than the company will now be sponsoring half of the top-tier Spanish teams. Though the sums involved must be truly staggering, no official details have been released regarding financials.
The deals mean that Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol, Real Betis, Real Valladolid, Rayo Vellecano, Celta Vigo, Getafe, SD Eibar, and SD Huesca will all be sponsored by the British gambling giant. Though the deals don’t include player shirts, Bet365 will enjoy extensive exposure on websites, stadiums, buses and on the all-important social media.
Stoke-on-Trent based Bet365 have a strong footballing heritage, sponsoring local team Stoke City, and having the local stadium named after them. It was probably Stoke getting knocked out of the English Premier League after ten years, that prompted Bet 365 to seek new football exposure.
The move to sponsor La Liga teams makes sense for Bet365, given that the league has comparable international exposure. Betway already sponsors Legabes, Alaves and Levante, while Bwin sponsors Atletico Madrid and Valencia, Betfair has a deal with Barcelona and Codere has a partnership with Real Madrid.
The growing Anglo-Spanish sports and sports betting relationships come at a time when several other European nations are making moves to frustrate the co-operation between sports teams and the gambling industry – as best illustrated by the recent Italian move to outlaw all forms of gambling advertising, and the recent comments by Irish president Michael D. Higgins, calling for similar legislation.
The importance of betting business sponsorships to the financial viability of major sports cannot be overstated, as shown by the fact that 60% of teams in the UK’s top two football divisions will sport shirts with sports betting branding or have some kind of betting sponsorship – breaking down to nine out of twenty teams in the EPL, and 17 out of 24 in the Champions League.
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