Football clubs rely on sponsorship deals at all levels. For some, it’s to help with running costs, and for others, it’s to balance off expenditures to stay in line with profit and loss rules. It’s been commonplace for a long while to enter into arrangements with companies that fit with football, and this is where gambling and gaming enterprises enter the conversation. However, people are already asking whether these sorts of deals have a future in English football.
The reason why the future of gambling sponsorships in football is currently in doubt is that in the United Kingdom, a place steeped in sports betting and casino history, there has been a huge crackdown on advertising and promoting gambling activities of all types. And, while changes are already in motion on this front, 2023 will be the year when the severe clampdown happens, which coincides with the end of the current 2022/23 domestic campaign.
At present, there are over fifteen prominent football clubs at all levels of the English game, such as Brentford, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Newcastle United and Watford, who all have gambling companies as their principal sponsors, with many of these clubs tied into multi-year relationships. And while it’s unlikely that clubs must terminate deals early, incurring costs as a result, so the short-term future of gambling sponsorships is secure, it is likely that moving forward; it’s not going to be possible to be a sports betting outfit or gaming operator directly backing a football club in England.
There is no doubt that prominent casino site, PartyCasino and other reputable gambling services, already recognise the value of these relationships. Party’s most recent sponsorship deal was with F1’s McClaren Racing Team, and they’re the type of organisation, like many others, who will always retain an interest in entering mutually beneficial relationships with English football clubs, and it could perhaps lead to other methods of making this a reality coming to the fore in due course.
In short, a lot will depend on the rules that are put in place that directly impact sports betting and gaming companies sponsoring football clubs in the UK in some way, shape or form and how they’re detailed. There could be a way to keep relationships active, but perhaps not as a principal sponsor or a shirt sponsor, which could still be seen as workable for all parties. But, because of the changes to the finances on offer to clubs, and the exposure to sponsors, any modified arrangements or proposed deals, would have to be explored further.
Gambling sponsorship deals do currently have a short-term future in English football for sure, and everyone will be looking to reap the rewards of said deals for as long as possible. But, because of how strict things will be on the promoting of the gambling front moving forward, the long-term future of these arrangements, and any future agreements, has to be in doubt because of the change in landscape.