Australia’s Greens party has called for a ban on gambling companies sponsoring sports teams. Greens Senator Richard Di Natale told the Herald Sun that politicians needed to “show the same leadership on gambling sponsorship as we did with tobacco.” Di Natale says the sports industry claimed the end was nigh when it was barred from accepting tobacco sponsorships, but “instead what we saw was sport go from strength to strength and now tobacco sponsorship would be unthinkable.” Di Natale’s anti-gambling bona fides are well established, having proposed in April that Australia’s new restrictions on odds promotion during televised sporting events be extended to radio broadcasts.
Di Natale is presumably horrified by the deep sponsorship ties between betting and sports in the UK. The latest in a flurry of football/betting deals comes via Isle of Man-licensed 12Bet, which has inked a one-year deal with Crystal Palace FC to serve as its official betting partner and stadium sponsor. The deal is notable for being the first Premier League stadium branding deal inked by an online betting company and 12Bet CEO Rory Anderson touted the exposure the deal would provide the Asian-facing company. 12Bet continues to serve as jersey sponsor for the recently relegated Wigan Athletic and previously enjoyed the same exposure with Spanish side Sevilla.
Isle of Man- and Philippines-licensed Asian-facing operator TLC88, which already sponsors Premier League side Sunderland, has signed on as the platinum gaming partner of West Bromwich Albion. Iain Wain, the Baggies’ head of corporate sales, said the deal represented “the strengthening of the global reach” of the football club, while TLC88 Asia-Pacific strategic director Mike Chong said the partnership “will lead Asians to explore the excitement and atmosphere offered by clubs in Europe.” It’s worth noting that of the dozen betting partnerships Premier League clubs have inked with Asian-facing operators, just one (188Bet) has any serious UK-facing operations.
Feeling left out, UK bookies Ladbrokes have inked a one-off jersey sponsorship with League One side Notts County FC for their Capital One Cup tilt against Liverpool on Aug. 27. Pinnacle – the accounting firm, not the online sports betting outfit – is the traditional sponsor of Notts County’s away jerseys, but has agreed to stand down for the Round 2 match at Anfield. Club chairman Ray Trew said he was grateful to Pinnacle and the club’s other season-long sponsors, but was delighted by the one-off with Lads.
In other football and gambling deal news, digital sports media outfit Perform Group has renewed its mobile and web clip production partnership with the Premier League. The deal calls for Perform to continue providing “near live” match highlights and features for the league’s over 40 web and mobile licensees around the globe. Perform has enjoyed a relationship with the Premiership dating back to 2007, and the new three-year deal will extend that relationship through the 2015-2016 season. Perform joint-CEO Oliver Slipper said his company “strongly valued” its relationship with the League and was committed to further developing the production service.