Betsson Sign Shirt Deal With Ibiza Despite Pending Ad Ban
Company signs first Spanish sponsorship deal despite an impending ban on sports sponsorship.
Betsson has agreed to a surprise shirt sponsorship side with Spanish club UD Ibiza. The deal, which sees the club wear the company’s branding, is Betsson’s first commercial venture in Spain. The company is seeking to increase its market share in Europe and see the “coolest club in the world” as an opportunity to raise brand awareness.
The deal, which started in the club’s 2-1 defeat against UE Cornellà in the play-off’s at the weekend, covers next season’s matches. Whether or not this comes to fruition depends on whether proposals to update the Royal Decree on Commercial Communications of Gambling Activities are accepted.
Under these proposals, all Spanish clubs will be prohibited from allowing gambling companies to display their names or logos. Clubs will also be forbidden to show gambling adverts in or near the stadium and will be prevented from naming football or training grounds after gambling companies.
Betsson hopes of increasing their profile in Spain would also be dented with the proposals making permanent an emergency gambling advert ban that was introduced to reduce gambling-related harm during the coronavirus outbreak. This ban covers the hours of 5 am to 1 am, and during those times, companies are prevented from advertising through all channels including TV, radio and online.
Despite doubts regarding how feasible this arrangement is in the long term, Betsson’s MD David Plumi was upbeat about the deal. He said, “we are two brands with great potential and that is why we have decided to unite”. He praised the club’s current form, saying, “Ibiza is a club that has been working very well, and we hope that they can soon make the leap [up the leagues]”. Plumi acknowledged the cool and hip reputation of the Balearic club by saying:
The Ibiza brand is very powerful worldwide, and with this alliance, we are sponsoring the coolest club in the world.– David Plumi, Betsson MD
Betsson, when asked about the government proposals that could effectively end this deal, responded by saying that the decree was still in the draft stage and was still awaiting approval. The operator added that they had voiced their own opinions to the European Commission and reiterated that the proposals are still at the consultancy phase.
However, Betsson’s Roderick Spiteri Schillig confirmed the company was ready in the event of a sponsorship ban. He said, “We hope it doesn’t come to that though since the proposed ban is an unnecessarily restrictive measure which does not serve the consumer interests as it stands, actually strengthening the unregulated offer as opposed to the regulated one, working against the objective of channelisation.”
He added: “There are a number of alternative measures in line with the case law of the CJEU to strengthen the responsibility of advertising by operators.” While Betsson is striking new deals, top-flight club Osasuna has terminated their shirt sponsorship deal with Kirolbet as a result of the proposed gambling sponsorship ban. The La Liga club finished tenth in the league, and a club statement said the two had reached a “friendly term” for the termination of the deal. It continues: ‘AC Osasuna would like to publicly thank KIROLBET for their willingness and confidence to tackle this situation, as well as the effort, commitment and firm support that they have shown towards our club in recent years of collaboration’.