Betting companies are gradually taking over sports sponsorships, from English and Spanish football to Asia and Africa. It’s almost as if bookmakers are in a competition to finance the higher number of sports events.
So, why are they doing it? What do sportsbooks gain by splashing millions of pounds to be associated with sports organizations? It’s all about making more money and building their brands.
Betting companies pay up to £10M annually to sponsor top football clubs. Thanks to these huge deals, half of EPL teams nearly two-thirds of Championship clubs have a betting partner. Of course, bookies don’t go after football clubs only.
They also sponsor rugby, darts, boxing, MMA, eSports hockey and athletics. In many cases, part of closing a sponsorship deal involves having a bookie’s logo appearing on a team’s jersey. Or they could name their stadium after the bookmaker (Bet365 Stadium).
Bookies sponsor teams with millions of global fans. That way, they get exposure to lots of potential customers. Sponsorships also provide excellent returns of investment.
Take Bwin as an example. When it sponsored Real Madrid in 2009, it was relatively unknown. Four years later, it was one of the biggest betting sites in the world. Many bookies that sponsor EPL clubs also started small. But after years of exposure to millions of people, they expanded immensely.
Advertising is one of the most effective forms of marketing. And it works best when a famous person is involved. That’s why so many betting companies partner with athletes to promote their brands.
Most companies advertise on TV before, during and after matches. However, they can run ads on YouTube and social media unfettered. As mentioned, bookmakers have a tendency to partner with successful footballers in their adverts.
But being regulated businesses, they have to follow some rules. For example, they can’t feature players less than 25 years. More importantly, they shouldn’t target children with their adverts. The sports industry is also against using people who’ve had troubles with gambling addiction in the past.
That said, betting companies don’t sponsor teams just to advertise their sportsbooks. Many of them also run online casinos. And they partner with athletes to promote slots, blackjack and poker too. Examples are Neymar Jr. and Giggi Buffuoni partnering with Poker Stars in the past.
Some sportsbooks use unique brand awareness campaigns in partnerships with sports or athletes. For example, 32Red, the casino sponsoring Derby County had Wayne Rooney put on jersey number 32 when he joined the club.
Another example is the partnership between famous horse racing jockey Frankie Dettori and bookmaker Sporting Index. Besides being the company’s brand ambassador, the legendary jockey also publishes social media blog posts to promote the sportsbook.
Some bespoke deals don’t have to involve a famous face, though. Precisely, Tottenham has a deal that sees fans receive fast Wi-Fi from William Hill while at their stadium. But since it’s a sponsorship deal, they can’t login to competing betting sites.
Some of the best VIP programs at slot sites and sportsbooks involve sports tickets. You could receive free tickets the UCL finals if you can win a betting-related tournament. At casinos, competition revolve such things are gambling daily or completing quests.
VIP programs mainly target wealthy punters. You almost stand no chance at receiving a free ticket to a competitive match if you don’t be regularly. What’s more, you need to bet generous amount to qualify for high roller rewards.
Loyal customers who are not high-rollers also have unique programs. You might not receive a £50,000 cash prize. But you could get a deposit-based bonus. Click here for great bonuses—incentives that give you a fair chance to win and withdraw your money.
Sharing Company Stories
Storytelling is one of the most trending forms of advertising these days. The assumption is that people no longer like adverts. Instead, they prefer brands that contribute change the society or stand for things that are right.
For that reason, some betting companies no longer run campaigns with athletes that encourage people to gamble. Instead, they run documentaries that show their contributions to local communities. Or they feature how they’ve changed the lives of people who bet and won money at their websites.
Storytelling is powerful because it’s something many people can relate to. When a betting website runs a clip showing how they financed a new training facility, it’s more impactful than an advert asking them to bet.
One of the reasons why people buy products advertised by athletes is psychological in nature. Many people interpret messages from celebrities almost the same way they perceive information from friends.
As such, they’re more likely to buy something recommended by their favorite footballer than a random person. Of course, they also share the same closeness with their favorite football clubs. If someone likes Man City and the club has an association with a betting company, fans feel obligated to promote the bookie supporting their club.
With that in mind, some bookies partner with sports because they want to be associated with the clubs’ success stories. They love the league titles, super star players and comeback stories. That’s why successful clubs tend to attract more sponsors than smaller clubs.
Regular Media Presence
Studies show that people like companies that advertise regularly. They associate regular branding with a sign of confidence with their products and service. And they see these businesses as better than those that don’t advertise.
Against that backdrop, betting companies stand to lose a lot by not advertising. Not only do they lose exposure to new markets; but could also lose the trust of past customers. And that’s their greatest fear.
Fortunately, sports provide more than enough regular media presence. According to the BBC, the logos of betting companies that sponsor EPL clubs appear on TV up to 81% during a match. Now think about it. The EPL season runs from August to May. And during that period, these clubs also participate in domestic and European tournaments.