Although you may not realise it, the gambling industry’s ties to football do not date back very far at all. In fact, it took until 2002 for the first betting company to sponsor a Premier League team. However, nowadays, over 45% of Premier League teams are sponsored by gambling companies. So, what has changed? Keep reading below to find out how betting sponsors in the English premier league have evolved:
The History of Premier League Betting Sponsors
As mentioned, it took until the 2002/2003 season for a betting company to first make an appearance in the English Premier League. Fulham were the first team to advertise a betting company – Betfair – on their shirts. This turned out to be a crucial moment, paving the way for other betting sites and businesses to market themselves similarly.
Since then, we have seen a huge increase in the number of teams penning deals with betting or gambling companies. Over ten teams in the premier league now advertise these companies on the front of their shirts or their sleeves.
Shirt sponsorship has brought huge amounts of money to the Premier League over the years. In fact, evidence suggests that in the 2019-2020 season, over £349 million was made from shirt sponsorship deals in the UK.
Premier League Betting Sponsors in 2021
As we mentioned above, gambling companies have become more visible in the Premier League than ever before. Currently only three teams – Liverpool FC, Chelsea and Sheffield United – started the 2020/2021 season without a betting brand sponsorship deal.
Most of the other teams – Crystal Palace, Burnley, Wolverhampton United, Fulham, Newcastle United, Leeds United, West Ham United, and Southampton – are sponsored by a betting company. West-Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa are also sponsored by betting companies. However, they do not advertise this sponsorship on the front of their shirts; instead, it is advertised on the sleeves.
None of the top 6 English Premier League teams have a betting company emblem on their official team kits. However, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham are all sponsored by gambling companies in some way or another.
Leicester City currently has the largest quantity of betting supporters. These include Sportsbet.io, Betway, and Parimatch. While this may be true, Leicester City is not the highest earner from these deals. Research suggests that West Ham are the highest earner, thanks to the £10 million they agreed with Betway.
The Future of Betting Sponsorships in the Premier League
Over the past few years, the connection between the gambling industry and English football has come under a lot of scrutiny. Pressure has been mounting on the UK government to ban Premier League teams from accepting this type of sponsorship deal.
Over the next few years, there is likely to be a review on betting sponsorship in the Premier League. This review may lead to a complete ban on football betting sites marketing their products in this way. This ban has already been put in place in many countries around the world, including the Netherlands, Italy, and Turkey.
It is believed that by the 2021/2022 season, English clubs will know whether this ban is coming into place. With huge amounts of cash hanging in the balance, any decision made by the government will have huge implications for the sport in the future.
If this ban does not come into place, there is a high possibility that we will see even more clubs in the Premier League accepting sponsorship from trusted gambling sites and online casinos. However, understanding which casinos and gambling sites are trustworthy can be difficult for Premier League teams. Onlinecasinos.co.uk can help them with this. Not only do they have an in-depth post on the most trustworthy and safe casinos in the UK, but they also have all the information teams could need about the different casinos and games.
How Does Betting Sponsorship in the Premier League Compare to Other Leagues?
When it comes to English football, the Premier League is not the only division that has strong ties with gambling companies. In fact, over two thirds of Championship football clubs have received sponsorship from betting companies. Not only that, but the EFL itself is sponsored by Sky Bet. These sponsorship deals, worth over £40 million, provide a crucial source of income for these clubs.
Why are Betting Sponsorship Deals More Popular with Smaller Football Teams?
One of the main reasons why sponsorship deals are more popular with smaller football teams is because bigger clubs, such as those who play in the Premier League, can generate sponsorship or vast sums of money from other areas. However, this does not mean that sponsorship deals are not popular in the Premier League. As we have already mentioned, over 45% of Premier League teams are sponsored by a betting company.
Why do Gambling Companies Use Premier League Teams to Market their Businesses?
One of the main issues that exist for people who would like to see a separation between gambling and football is the close relationship between the two. The reality is that football, in particular the Premier League, is the most-watched sport in the world. Evidence suggests that the Premier League has a worldwide audience of over 12 million people. It is therefore fairly straightforward why a company that wants to increase sales or drum up more business around the world would use Premier League teams to help them to advertise their brand.
Over the past few years, gambling firms have become more prominent in the Premier League. In fact, even the half time break and the pre-match build-up are filled up with a short advertisement for a betting company. With the sheer presence of the gambling industry throughout the top English football teams, it is sometimes mind-blowing to remember that it was not until the 2002/2003 season that the first betting firm appeared on a Premier League shirt.
Since then, gambling firms have become even more prominent in the English Premier League. The reason for this is because gambling and football are two extremely lucrative industries that work well together. Through sponsorships, betting corporations advertise themselves to hundreds of thousands of sports fans, and in return, Premier League clubs are given millions of pounds. In the future, unless new rules or regulations come in that prevent Premier League Teams from advertising betting companies, there is a high possibility that we will continue to see betting companies sponsoring these teams.