Gambling sponsorship has always gone hand in hand with sport. While horse racing is entirely built around betting on a winner, betting on soccer has become a key part of the beautiful game with fans as brands become more prominent.
Today, it’s believed all betting sponsorship in sport is worth over $330million to leagues and teams, and that figure is continuing to rise as more teams, leagues, and franchises seek such deals and more lucrative ones are made.
Gambling Sponsors in Numbers
It’s believed there are over 360 active gambling sponsorship deals across sport worldwide, with many brands having multiple deals across multiple sports. Look through betting sites such as Freebets.com, which highlights all the major names in the UK, and you won’t find very many names on the list that don’t have some form of deal with a sports team.
The Premier League is among the most prominent leagues in betting sponsors, with 10 of the 20 clubs have a betting brand featuring on their shirt. However, the Turkish leagues have the biggest reported deal with the SuperLig and two leagues below enjoying a deal worth $29.5million per year across five years.
The deal is with Spor Toto, a Turkish government-funded bookmaker, while Betway has the biggest individual sponsorship deal with a club, sponsoring West Ham for around $13million per year.
The Brands Leading the Way
Spor Toto comfortably spends the most in terms of sponsorship, but it is the likes of Betway and Unibet, who cover the most tournaments and teams as sponsors.
In total, Betway has around 25 different sponsorship deals across sport, including West Ham, alongside events in snooker, Esports, and horse racing, including a deal with the Grand National and as the main sponsor of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Unibet has a prominent foot in the door with many soccer clubs, including Preston North End, Derby County, and Middlesbrough in the Football League, while they also have a deal with Southampton.
Away from soccer, they are the main sponsor of Premier League Darts and the European Championship and the official betting partner of the Qatar Goodwood Festival and many other events across horse racing such as the Derby and Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle.
A Breakdown Across Sport
As you can probably guess, soccer takes up the largest proportion of sports betting sponsors, with around 60% of deals being done in the sport.
In the top two English soccer divisions, 23 of the 44 teams are sponsored by gambling firms, including 32Red sponsoring three different clubs in the Championship. That figure is slightly down last year but still shows just how lucrative these deals are to clubs.
Horse racing carries the second largest number of gambling sponsors, which is perhaps to be expected, with around 15% of the sport’s active deals.
Basketball has 6% of active deals, with much of those across the European basketball leagues. However, that number could now begin to rise in the USA, with some states legalizing online gambling. The NBA has already struck a deal with MGM, and many teams could follow suit, especially after seeing the $25million it is worth to the division itself.
Interestingly, that may change the sport’s landscape forever, just as it has football, with clubs and franchises more cash-rich than ever before and allowing to spend big on salaries and in trades.
At present, gambling, sponsorship, is only going to grow in the sport, and what that is doing is making leagues more lucrative and, in turn, seeing teams at the top level more financially secure than ever.
Featured Image by Damon Nofar from Pixabay