Gambling giant GVC Holdings has enjoyed a productive 2017 extending their sponsorship agreements with some of the biggest clubs in the Spanish top-flight. As well as a subsidiary partnership with Atletico Madrid, they are now the official gambling partner of Valencia, Sevilla, and Villareal. These additions to their already impressive partnership portfolio across the majority of top European leagues further emphasize the prominence of Bwin as one of the most closely connected gambling companies to the world’s most popular sport. The timing couldn’t be better either, with the business recording comparatively unimpressive growth over the last few years.
What Is The Appeal Of These Deals For Bwin?
Having enjoyed several years of the very high profile sponsorship of Real Madrid (ended in 2013), at first glance it may seem that scooping up some of ‘the best of the rest’ may appear a step backward. The reality, however, is that La Liga has been gradually improving the commercial aspect of their game – and especially in regards to global TV money. Even fans who may only tune in when either Real or Barcelona are playing will still be exposed eight times a season to the Bwin brand.
Sponsoring a variety of clubs also has another very tangible benefit. Despite gambling companies becoming ever more commercially important with European football clubs, the laws on advertising money play vary enormously between countries. The UK has long adopted a very relaxed attitude to allowing bookies to advertise with near total freedom – but this is far from the case across much of the rest of Europe.
However, there are no rules stopping clubs from wearing the names of the likes of Bwin across their shirts. This trend is even evident in the lower leagues, and it’ll no doubt be a matter of time until the likes of Euro Palace mobile casino app and their many rivals are battling it out on the pitch.
Sponsorship Enhances Exposure When European Laws Are Starting To Relax
Fans in the UK may find it tough to believe, but as mentioned it can be very inconvenient for overseas supporters to place a wager on their team. The good news is that recent developments suggest that plenty of countries are already well advanced with plans to develop and regulate their domestic gambling economies. This is why Bwin sponsor plenty of clubs and competitions across the continent. The greater their exposure, the better their chances are of becoming prominent players in what amounts to new markets.
As a financial investment, it may appear on paper that having so many clubs in their stable appears slightly excessive. However, those in the online sports gambling industry are confident that Bwin is spending only slightly more than they were when embossed across the famous white shirts of Real Madrid. In many ways, it could turn out to be a very smart piece of business, especially when their current La Liga clubs are also regulars in high profile European competition.
Does Sponsoring Clubs Really Add To Player Sign-Ups?
You bet it does. On current trends, the gambling industry is only going to be becoming ever more intertwined with the commercial aspect of clubs with any kind of regular media exposure. Many gambling ‘partners’ already offer supporters of their clubs special enhanced odds and bonuses (especially for new members). Combine this with live, in-play betting and it won’t be long before a majority of fans have a gambling app installed on their phone.
There’s also the fact that by entering into a formal commercial arrangement, Bwin basically deny the exposure to their rivals. To put it simply – someone is going to offer a sack of money to promote their gambling business on these clubs shirts and stadia. First come, first served (providing the money is right of course!).
As with most aspects of football commercial success, the EPL is by far and away the most successful at generating non-matchday specific revenue. They’re typically a good couple of years ahead of all but the largest continental teams. Every single one of them has an official gambling partner, with 9 out of 20 having a gambling company’s logo on their shirt. Over the seven years since this trend started, the value of shirt sponsorship deals has more than trebled on average.
Even though Spain may not have quite as pervasive a gambling culture of the UK, expect to still see sponsorship deals being struck ever more often with gaming companies. Bwin has been smart to gain an early advantage here, and even though these deals expire at the end of the 2017/2018 season there’s a very high chance they’ll be extended well before the close of the season.