bet365 pens sponsorship deals with 10 La Liga clubs
bet365 has made a giant leap into the Spanish football league by penning sponsorship deals with 10 La Liga clubs for the upcoming 2018/19 season.
Ahead of the start of the Spanish football season this weekend, the operator has made moves to increase its brand recognition in Spain.
Details of the deals and the money behind them have not been released.
However, it is understood that bet365 will not feature as the shirt sponsor of any of the clubs. Rather, the deals will see bet365 advertise at stadiums and on the clubs’ websites, where the operator may offer team specific promotions.
Deals have been reached with Villarreal, RCD Espanyol, Getafe, Real Betis, Celta Vigo, Athletic Club, SD Éibar, Real Valladolid, SD Huesca and Rayo Vallecano.
A number of gambling firms are already very active in Spain via club sponsorships.
This season, Betway has made deals with Deportivo Alavés, C.D. Leganés and Levante U.D, while Betfair sponsors both Barcelona and Sevilla. Valencia and Atlético Madrid are sponsored by bwin and Girona has signed a new deal with Marathonbet.
Experts warn of link between football and gambling in the UK
While gambling is linked ever more prominently with sport in Spain, things are looking different in the UK.
Currently, over 60% of the country’s football teams in the top three leagues are sponsored by gambling firms, with nine of the Premier League’s 20 teams sporting gambling related branding.
But that trend could be set to decline in the face of increasing political and public pressure. Critics are branding the link between gambling and football worrying and dangerous, as Marc Etches, chief executive of GambleAware, explains:
I think we are at a tipping point in terms of the relationship between professional sports and gambling. We have a generation of fans who believe you have to bet on football to enjoy it and that is disturbing and concerning. It is a very different place to the past when there was only the weekly pools and spot-the-ball. The time is now for a much-needed debate about how we do this. Watching football and having a bet is becoming normalised but we’re not talking about it.– Marc Etches, GambleAware chief executive