Bodog-sponsored West Bromwich Albion has been signaling its intent in this summer’s transfer since the off and the latest two signings are clearly a sign that the club is going places. Resigning former fans favorite and now returning hero Zoltan Gera is one thing. Getting your hands on the experienced former-England stopper Ben Foster is quite another.
The 28-year-old keeper joins from relegated Birmingham and after appearing in a number of England internationals chose to take an indefinite hiatus from the international setup at the conclusion of last season. Foster has no regrets though.
“I have not reconsidered my retirement and I am happy with the way things are. I’m enjoying playing club football and when the international break does come along I find it’s a good chance to recharge the batteries and try and take your mind off football a bit,” he said.
Foster’s signature late last week was a coup as boss Roy Hodgson looks to keep the side in the Premier League for a second consecutive season, even maybe push on for Europe.
The Bodog-sponsorship deal also highlights the increasing amount of influence that Asian facing firms are having in the English Premier League. 12Bet, 188BET, and Genting will also have their name emblazoned on the front of a top flight’s teams shirt and it will be great for business for those operating in the world’s largest gambling industry market, Asia.
If West Ham had stayed in the top flight, their deal with SBOBET could also have been added to that list and that’s just gaming industry firms. Everton has had a deal in place with Chang Beer for a number of years and we’d challenge you to find a plentiful supply of that in the UK. On the other side of that city, Standard Chartered’s deal with Liverpool, worth £20m-a-year for four years is also aimed at the Far East market.
It shows where the future of Premier League sponsorship is headed and the flexible private companies that have the right structures in place will be able to take advantage of this.