Online Gambling Companies Bet on Football

Published Friday, August 14, 2009 -

Football in the UK and the rest of Europe has the most dedicated followers year after year. Now the clubs are feeling a new sense of security as online gambling firms put their logos and their money into sponsoring the teams. A few companies are sure to make some money as the usual sponsors are being replaced by online betting firms. Recently 188BET signed a deal to "officially sponsor' the well known football clubs Aston Villa and Chelsea. Rival betting outfit Betfair also managed to capture the sponsorship for the Premier League championship team Manchester United for a six year term.

The Asian facing 188BET is basicly not very well known outside of Asia, and expects to build a more recognizable brand through the sponsorship of football clubs. It is thought that as much as 80 % of 188BET's revenues are currently made from it's Asian offering. The company is moving rapidly in this direction after making solid deals with The Bolton Wanderers and the Wigan Athletics earlier this season.

Established in the market as real sources of content, the online gambling operators are taking advantage of the loyalty factor. Commercial director at Manchester United, Richard Arnold, says his club provides "a massive marketing opportunity for any company", adding that such partnerships "drive activity and visibility" for brands. He concluded, "United can be used to reach out to many target demographics."

Managing director of Sponsorship Consulting, Pippa Collett, says, "The global TV coverage of the teams helps the betting companies to build brand awareness much more efficiently than any advertising campaign could," 188BET stated that, Chelsea's, "global reach" will allow it to "fully establish itself throughout the UK and across all key markets."

Collett commented, "It is a bit like pouring rights for beer brands or kit manufacturers with official merchandise, there are direct routes for the betting firms to generate revenues from the clubs' fan bases and because this is hard-wired to a specific club, it also makes it highly measurable in terms of calculating return on investment." She concluded, "In market-building terms, having many firms in the Premier League is helping to grow the online betting market faster, which benefits them all."

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