Up to 50% of Premier League clubs are connected with bookmakers!

About the expert:

Dainis Niedra is a professional entertainment and gambling executive. Previously general director of an entertainment company, organizer of poker series and president of the Latvian Poker Federation. Currently - Managing Director of Enlabs in Central and Eastern Dollarpa. Optibet, owned by Enlabs, is the largest betting operator in the Baltic countries. Marketing, sales, mergers and acquisitions (Marketing. Sale. M&A).

The Premier League is the most important football league in the world! Liverpool are the champions! Despite the fact that the title fight (not officially, but...) ended even before the quarantine started, the league itself ended in July. English football was represented by four top-eight teams in the Champions League last season and the English finals of the top two dollar club competitions make it pretty obvious to anyone that the Premier League is the dominant league in the football world.

The stronger the competition, the higher the level of the players and the quality of the game, this is what arouses so much interest from spectators and football fans. According to Hookit data (July this year), in terms of the number of followers and the level of connection with the audience, four Premier League clubs are among the top ten teams in the world (That's ALL sports). Sponsors are attracted by spectators and fans, who in turn are attracted by the product itself - entertaining and quality football. Throughout the season I have followed the Premier League matches and ”my professional eye" automatically began to pay attention to sponsors related to betting, noticing how sports betting has consolidated over these years as the main sector of support for English football.

The UK is the main dollar (and perhaps global) market for sports betting. There was an unwritten rule: if you leave a betting shop in London, you should definitely see the other two.

In recent years, the amount of bets that is not online has been decreasing both naturally and through the consolidation of large players in the local market. Of course, the internet has allowed most bets to move online. I was interested to know how many local operators are using football clubs to promote their brands, as it occurred to me that perhaps such advertising works more for foreign markets.

The overall sponsorship statistics last season are surprising. Betting has taken center stage on the shirts of exactly half of the 20 Premier League clubs. For comparison, the following sectors have only two teams:

  • Financial: "Liverpool" (Standard Chartered), "Brighton" (American Express);

  • Airlines: "Man City" (Etihad), "Arsenal" (Emirates);

  • Cars: "Man United“ (Chevrolet), ”Chelsea" (Yokohama).

At the same time, none of the top five football clubs at the end of the season has a bookmaker as an official sponsor. If we look at the table below, almost all clubs with sponsorship from a major bookmaker remain at the bottom of the league table. The highest position is for “Wolves", who finished in the seventh position and got a place in the Dollarpa League next season.

This could be due to both financial aspects of the agreements and the additional restrictions of the big clubs.

Sponsorship is not always limited to being the main sponsor that shows off on the shirt, but it is also possible to be a second or third level sponsor. In addition, a subcategory of “Official Betting Partner” has been created specifically for bookmakers to maximize revenue, and sometimes divide it by regions. For example, it is possible to become the official betting partner of “Tottenham” in Africa or New Zealand.

Some interesting facts:

  • None of the UK's top five betting operators is represented as a general sponsor, and four out of five are not represented at all. Bet365 is the only one declared as one of the five (!!!) sponsors of the "Leicester".

  • Yes, Leicester City F.C. has five sponsors from the same sector.

  • Six clubs have logos on their uniforms duplicated with hieroglyphs: "Bournemouth”, “Burnley”, “Crystal Palace”, “Wolverhampton”, “Newcastle”, "Watford". The goal is clear: to communicate with the Asian market.

  • Three brands with "Fan88" speak of the importance of the Asian market: "Aston Villa“, ”Newcastle and "Bournemouth".

  • The UK market is not the main one for any of the general betting sponsors (except RiverBelle, but it seems that in recent years it has been growing at the expense of other markets). Most operators that have become sponsors are targeting markets outside the UK, such as Asia, India (Dafabet), Africa (Sport Pesa) or New Zealand (Sportsbet.io ).

  • Following the litigation over the partnership between W88 and "Wolverhampton" a few years ago, foreign operators are trying to obtain a British license to advertise their brand, in order to avoid future legal problems.

  • ManBetX has two general sponsorships at once - "Wolverhampton" and ”Crystal Palace“, besides its sister company has a sponsorship contract with ”Arsenal".

The logical conclusion: the Premier League has established itself not only as a top-tier league, but as a global brand. The British betting culture and the attitude of society to this kind of entertainment allows you to expand your list of betting partners and conduct interesting campaigns towards this market.

Club Bookmaker Status
Norwich City Dafabet General Sponsor
Watford Sportsbet.io General Sponsor
Bournemouth M88/SpinBet General Sponsor
Aston Villa W88 General Sponsor
Brighton RiverBelle General Sponsor
Crystal Palace - -
Newcastle W88 General Sponsor
Everton SportPesa General Sponsor
Southampton Unibet General Sponsor
Burnley LoveBet General Sponsor
Sheffield - -
Arsenal Vbet/Betconstruct Sponsors
Wolverhampton ManBetX General Sponsor
Tottenham - -
Leicester RiverBelle, Yabo Sports, W88, Bet365, 19.com Sponsors
Chelsea - -
Manchester United Yabo Sports Sponsors
Manchester City Spin Palace Sponsors

* The TOP 5 British betting leaders:

Ladbrokes Coral- 30,000 employees; annual revenue (2019) - $3.2 billion

William Hill - 16,000 employees; annual revenue (2019) - $2.2 billion

Paddy Power - 8,000 employees; annual revenue (2019) - $2.3 billion

Bet365 - 3,500 employees; annual revenue (2019) - $3 billion

Sky - no data