English football teams sponsored by online bookmakers and casinos – Championship 2017/18
The second tier of the English Football League is a popular space for bookmakers to advertise their wares. During the 2017-18 season, over half of the 24 teams in the Championship will feature gambling companies as their main shirt sponsors.
Many Premier League football clubs have negotiated profitable new deals, while their partners clearly feel they are getting value for their money at football league competitions.
The English Football League itself has a title sponsorship deal with Sky Bet, so it is no surprise to see other brands queueing up to have their logos emblazoned across the teams’ kits. Here’s a look at the 13 Championship teams who currently have sponsorship deals with betting sites:
Aston Villa – Unibet
Aston Villa have unveiled online sportsbook and casino Unibet as the club’s principal sponsor for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Part of the Kindred group, the Unibet brand will have its logo appear on the front of Villa’s newly designed Under Armour kits, for both the men’s and women’s adult teams.
Financial details for the one-year agreement have not been disclosed, but it is believed to be a sizeable deal that will help the Birmingham side’s push for promotion back to the Premier League. Aside from shirt sponsorship, Unibet will be creating specialised content and betting opportunities for Villa fans, as well as supporting community programmes in the local area.
Birmingham City – 888sport
After a successful partnership last season, Birmigham City have renewed their agreement with online bookmakers 888sport for 2017-18. As part of their sponsorship deal, the betting company’s logo will be displayed on the front of the Blues’ playing and replica adult shirts for another year.
888sport introduced several popular fan initiatives during the previous campaign that are set to carry on this season. Ticket and merchandise giveaways, free coach travel to away games, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to present player-awards are just some of the great experiences that Birmingham City fans can continue to expect from their club’s partnership with the bookmaker.
Bolton Wanderers – Betfred
Following their promotion back to the Championship from League One, Bolton Wanderers have announced a lucrative new sponsorship deal with UK-based bookmakers Betfred.
As per their initial two-year agreement, the club will sport the red-and-blue Betfred logo on the front of their playing shirts till the end of the 2018-19 season, while also prominently featuring the company’s branding at their 28,700 capacity Macron Stadium.
Betfred replaces the Trotters’ previous sponsors Spin and Win, and the new deal is worth ‘significantly more’ according to club sources. Headquartered in Warrington, the bookmakers have strong links to the North West, and were previously Bolton’s official betting partner a few years ago.
Brentford – LeoVegas
Championship side Brentford have inked a new sponsorship deal with Swedish online gambling operator LeoVegas, which makes them lead shirt sponsor as well as title partner of the club. The two-year deal covers the the Bees final years at their Griffin Park home, prior to their planned move to the Brentford Community Stadium in 2019.
Under the terms of their agreement, the LeoVegas logo will be imprinted on the Brentford home and away shirts, as well as on selected team training wear. In addition, the bookmaker’s branding will be displayed at strategic locations throughout the 12,500-seat Griffin Park, in programme advertising and at various promotional events.
Burton Albion – Tempobet
Burton Albion have renewed their commercial partnership with Tempobet, which will see the online sportsbook remain their primary partner and shirt sponsor for the forthcoming season.
Although the financial details have not been revealed, the terms of the renewal are said to be comparable to last year’s deal, which was the biggest in the Brewers’ 67-year history.
The Tempobet logo will continue to feature on the front of the team’s playing shirts, as well as on the players’ and coaching staff’s training tops. The bookmakers will also be advertised throughout the club’s home at Pirelli Stadium, which has a capacity of close to 7,000.
Fulham – Grosvenor Casinos
UK-based Grosvenor Casinos was recently announced as the Main Team Partner of Fulham FC. The two-year deal will see the gambling company’s online brand, GrosvenorCasinos.com, displayed on the playing shirts of the London club’s first and second teams.
They will also be designated as the Cottagers’ official betting and casino partner for the next two years, with their branding displayed prominently at the club’s Craven Cottage stadium on LED boards, and exclusively throughout the southernmost Putney End stand.
Belonging to The Rank Group, Grosvenor Casinos will also benefit from extensive domestic and international exposure through Fulham’s social media channels, which will help raise the profile of their other offerings such as sports betting, virtual casino games and online poker rooms.
Hull City – SportPesa
Last year Hull City signed the most lucrative sponsorship deal in their 113-year history with Kenyan online betting firm SportPesa.
It was revealed that the three-year deal was worth an estimated £3 million per year till the end of the 2018-19 season, but the figures involved will now be significantly reduced following the Tigers’ relegation from the Premier League, as per their contractual agreement.
SportPesa’s new deal with Everton will ensure that they maintain visibility in the top flight, while Hull will continue to wear the bookmaker’s logo on the front of their playing shirts for the next two seasons, as they battle for promotion back to the Premier League. As part of the agreement, Hull City also hosted a friendly match earlier this year against a SportPesa All Stars team at their KCOM Stadium.
Leeds United – 32Red
Leeds United inked a three-year shirt sponsorship deal with online casino and sportsbook 32Red last year. Running till the end of the 2018-19 campaign, the agreement sees the 32Red sports betting and casino logo adorn the front of the Yorkshire club’s playing kits, while also providing the brand with extensive visibility inside United’s Elland Road stadium and across their various media platforms.
Financial terms of the deal were not officially disclosed, but the value is estimated to be in the region of £400,000 per season. Supporters of Leeds United have also been given access to over 500 online casino games on 32Red’s award-winning website.
Norwich City – LeoVegas
Norwich City have unveiled LeoVegas as their Principal Partner for the next three seasons, starting from July this year. In what has been described as a lucrative partnership for the Canaries, the betting operator’s logo will be featured on the front of all the club’s adult playing shirts and match-day training wear.
The LeoVegas brand will also enjoy a strong in-stadia presence at Norwich’s 27,000 capacity home at Carrow Road. The new deal with LeoVegas, which continues till 2020, ends the Norfolk club’s long partnership with insurance company Aviva, who had been their shirt sponsors for the past nine years.
Nottingham Forest – 888sport
Nottingham Forest have extended their shirt sponsorship deal with 888sport for another season, having initially signed a one-year agreement at the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
The new deal is the biggest of its kind in the club’s 152-year history, and covers the team’s home and away playing shirts, as well as the coaching staff’s match-day training kits.
Forest fans can look forward to 888sport continuing the many fan initiatives they introduced last year, including various competitions, subsidised travel for away matches, and the Fan888 experience at their iconic home stadium, the City Ground.
Preston North End – Tempobet
Preston North End have agreed a deal with Tempobet, making the online sports betting company their principle sponsorship partner for the 2017-18 season.
Replacing rival betting firm 888sport as sponsors, Tempobet will see its logo emblazoned across the Lilywhites’ first-team shirts and adult replica shirts, while also receiving extensive advertising space at the club’s 23,400 capacity Deepdale stadium.
The betting firm will now feature across the chests of two Championship teams next season, following the renewal of their deal with Burton Albion. They are hoping to benefit from increased international exposure through the EFL’s worldwide distribution of its weekly highlights TV programme.
Queens Park Rangers – Royal Panda
Queens Park Rangers have signed a three-year shirt sponsorship deal with Royal Panda sportsbook and casino, one of the UK’s fastest-growing online gambling brands. Beginning from the 2017-18 season, QPR’s home, away and third strips will feature the Royal Panda logo across the front.
Additionally, the casino operators will have a significant presence at the West London club’s Loftus Road home, with a number of exciting initiatives planned for fans, including various match-day promotions and half-time pitch activities.
Having already established themselves in the online casino space since their launch in 2014, Royal Panda is now set to enter the sports betting market, with the recent acquisition of a sports book license.
Sunderland – Dafabet
Sunderland agreed to a three-year renewal of their sponsorship deal with online gambling company Dafabet prior to last season. Having first linked up in 2015, the new agreement (which runs till 2019) will see the Philipines-based bookmakers become one of the club’s longest serving main sponsors.
Under the renewed terms, the deal was valued at £6 million per annum, though it is unclear how much the Black Cats’ relegation from the Premier League last season has affected those figures.
As part of the remunerative deal, Dafabet’s branding features on the front of Sunderland’s first-team home and away kits, while the betting company also runs several fan engagement initiatives at the club’s 49,000 capacity Stadium of Light. Additionally, the association with Dafabet has helped the club’s efforts to expand their presence in Asia, which includes the launch of a Mandarin version of their website last year.