bet365 Dominates La Liga SponsorshipJake Cooper | 08 Aug 2018
As the 2018 Premier League football season opens, an announcement that British sports betting giant bet365 will be sponsoring 10 of the Spanish La Liga Primera teams has been hailed as a real coup. Although not quite that dramatic, it certainly has taken the sport by surprise.
bet365 will now be the sponsors for RCD Espanyol, Villarreal CF, Real Betis, Getafe CF, SD Huesca, RC Celta, Rayo Vallecano, Real Valladolid, Athletic Club and SD Éibar for the next two years. This makes the brand the largest sponsor in the Spanish League.
Fierce Brand Competition
Although top teams Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico de Madrid have not been included in this deal, they too hold sponsorship with rival sportsbook companies Codere and Betfair. This brings the total teams in all Premier League football sponsored by betting companies to a whopping 60%, at a time when many countries, the UK included, are trying to minimise gambling and promote responsible betting.
Concerns have been expressed that, with so many of the premier teams uniforms sporting betting company logos, it is contributing to a culture where gambling is the norm. To discourage this, many countries have started to implement bans on gambling advertising, making the competition between the likes of bet365 and Betfair and Codere to find alternative outlets stiff.
The precise details of the new La Liga deals have not been revealed, but we do know that the player uniforms will not carry the sponsor's logo. Presently, branding visibility will be restricted to the team's social media platforms, websites, stadiums, and transportation.
Stoke City Ousted
Previously, bet365 had been the sponsor to English team Stoke City, who even renamed their stadium to honour their sponsors. However, 2017 saw Stoke City lose their placement in the English Premier League, and with that, the bookmaker lost their seat on the international stage. The result? The bookmaker scrambling for new international advertising real estate. La Liga carries close to the same amount of international exposure as the EPL does, and has the added benefit of reaching new potential markets, which makes them a perfect fit.
Looking for Untapped Potential
While bet365 has focused its energies on Spain, there are plenty of other emerging markets for bookmakers to keep an eye on. The largest untapped market for industry betting giants is China; and with a population of 1.4 billion people it represents massive potential. In the future, we may well see betting brands sponsor Chinese leagues, as the demand for advertising space grows, and regulatory bodies clamp down.