M88 Signs Asia La Liga Sponsorship Deal Despite Spanish Ban
Mansion Group subsidiary, M88, has agreed to a multi-season deal to become a regional sponsor for La Liga. The multi-season deal has been signed despite an impending ban on gambling advertisements due this year.
M88, part of the Mansion Group, has agreed to terms to become the regional sponsor for Spanish football’s top football league. The four-year-deal will run until the end of the 2023-24 season. According to reports, the agreement is worth between £3.8m and £5.4m.
Under the arrangement, M88 will create content that will promote the La Liga league throughout Asia. The operator will create a new weekly video series that will feature stars of the past to increase the league’s brand awareness and encourage new supporters of the league.
Several of the La Liga ambassadors will be well known to football followers in the UK with many of them plying their trade in England at some point in their careers. Steve McManaman is well-known by Liverpool fans, he played for the club from 1990 till 1999 and made 272 appearances for the club, scoring 46 goals in that time. The Bootle born midfielder ran down his contract at Liverpool and signed for Real Madrid in 1999. McManaman won the Champions League in his first season, becoming the first Englishman to lift a European trophy with a foreign club. He stayed for four seasons, playing 152 games.
Diego Forlán is another name English football fans will recognise. The Uruguayan played for Manchester United between 2002 – 2004. Despite being immensely talented, it never really worked out for Forlán in England, despite winning a title with United. After United, the striker moved to Spain and had spells with Villarreal and Atlético Madrid. He was much more prolific in Spain, scoring 128 goals in his seven-year stay.
Other ambassadors include; Aintzane Encinas, Carles Puyol i Saforcada, Carlos Alberto Valderrama Palaclo, César Sanchez Dominguez Christian Karembeu, David Albelda Aliqués and Fernando Morientes Sanchez.
As is typical of these types of deals, fans will benefit as the operator will be offering La Liga merchandise and match tickets to customers. M88’s deal replaces the agreement that was in place between ManBetX and La Liga. The deal was signed before the 2019-2020 season and had been due to last two years. La Liga’s head of business, Oscar Mayo said of the deal:
With fans looking for increasingly local and entertaining content, the agreement with M88 gives us a new way to reach new audiences and show them a side to the competition they haven’t seen before.– Oscar Mayo, La Liga head of buisness
An M88 spokesperson added: “As the league continues to grow in popularity throughout Asia, we are eager to engage with La Liga fans and bring our own members closer to the action.” The deal is likely to be a vital source of funds for La Liga who like all football leagues have been hit hard with the lack of spectators. They are also competing against other leagues, such as the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga.
This new sponsorship arrangement is, however, likely to further increase tensions between football and the government. An impending advertising ban proposed by Spain’s Consumer Affairs Minister Alberto Garzón is due to come into effect this year. Garzón has publicly condemned football clubs who have either signed new deals or who have extended existing agreements with gambling operators.
The news that La Liga has prematurely ended one deal to sign a long-term agreement with a gambling company is likely to infuriate Garzón. He has, in the past, promised to take action against anyone signing new arrangements.