The invasion of gambling operators into football and sports is still proceeding, despite the strong wave of criticism faced by the companies over the past few years.
The beginning of the week saw two professional English football clubs announce sponsorship agreements with gambling companies.
First, it was Chelsea FC, which is to start the 2019/20 season at the third position of the English Premier League, to reveal a new sponsorship agreement with 1xBET. The football club revealed that has named the online global gambling operator as its latest commercial partner in the professional football market.
The deal between Chelsea and 1xBET, one of the leading iGambling operators in Asia, Africa and Europe, is to run for three seasons, from the 2019/20 campaign to the one in 2021/22. The sponsorship agreement under which the operator is to serve as the official betting partner of the English Premier League club would provide 1xBET with greater recognition and visibility on a global scale, and especially in the UK, as the company has been focused on increasing its market share.
To celebrate the launch of the partnership with Chelsea FC we are giving away 3 jerseys!
1) Follow @1xbet_Eng
2) RT this tweet
The winners will be announced on the 18th of July. Good Luck! pic.twitter.com/RtGEePzDOt
— 1xBet English (@1xbet_Eng) July 15, 2019
This is not the only sponsorship agreement inked by 1xBET. Only in recent weeks, the gambling operator has managed to sign similar deals with another Premier League club – Liverpool FC – and with the Spanish La Liga club Barcelona.
Chris Townsend, the commercial director of Chelsea FC, has confirmed of the sponsorship deal, saying that the club is looking forward to supporting 1xBET in their strategy to increase their brand awareness on the territory of the UK and around the world.
Paddy Power Becomes New Lead Partner of Huddersfield Town FC
The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power also signed a sponsorship agreement with Huddersfield Town FC, under which it is to become the new lead partner of the club. The deal would place the gambling operator as a front-of-shirt sponsor of the club.
As confirmed by Huddersfield Town, the new relationship with the popular Irish bookmaker will make Paddy Power a title partner for the club in the 2019/20 season, meaning their brand would be placed on the home, away and third kits of the club. This represents the largest sponsorship deal for the football club outside the Premier League so far. This would be the first foray into football shirt sponsorship in the UK for Paddy Power, while the commercial director of Huddersfield Town said that the club has been patiently waiting for the right sponsorship.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 15, 2019
Gambling operators in the UK have been criticised for their increasing involvement in sports, and particularly in football. The fact that gambling companies have significantly boosted their presence in sports, has affected many viewers, making them believe that gambling is just a normal part of watching sports.
According to anti-gambling campaigners, the constant presence of gambling operators as football clubs’ major sponsors and their increasing visibility on clubs’ kits, stadiums and during live sports matches on TV has affected mostly underage individuals and young men.