Online gambling operator SBOBET has signed on as official Asian betting partner of Southampton FC. The addition of the Saints brings SBOBET’s English Premier League tie-up total to five, as the Isle of Man-licensed operator announced similar deals with Swansea City, Norwich City and Hull City over the past month, and already had a deal with West Ham United dating back to last season. SBOBET exec director Bill Mummery said the deals offered the potential for “enormous” exposure due to the Premiership’s rabid global following.
One week after Bodog signed on as Official Asian Betting Partner with Arsenal FC, Irish betting stalwarts Paddy Power have signed on as Arsenal’s official betting partner in the UK, Ireland and Italy. Like Bodog, the Paddsters have opted for a three-year partnership. (The question now becomes: which of these two operators will be first to sign up Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger as their hapless poker pitchman?) While Paddy and Arsenal had a previous partnership that ended in 2011, their reconciliation might lead to a few awkward moments, given Paddy’s billboard campaign earlier this year that suggested former Arsenal striker Andrei Arshavin’s time at Emirates Stadium would be better spent off the pitch and in the bogs cleaning the toilets. “What’s Russian for plunger?” (What’s Gaelic for ‘whoops?’) Paddy has existing Premiership partnerships with Everton and Liverpool.
Paddy also announced a six-figure sponsorship deal with Absolute Radio’s Saturday morning Rock ‘N’ Roll Football Match Day Warm Up Show. Starting this Saturday (24), the program will feature Paddy’s Ball Of Shame adverts spotlighting the odder side of football, with cash prizes available for listeners who tweet suggestions for ‘mad and bad’ Shame-worthy incidents.
Lest the other social media titan feel snubbed, Paddy recently announced it would celebrate its Facebook page passing one million fans by allowing one of those million to place the first bet from outer space along with the opportunity to win a cool £1m. Before anyone gets too excited, the fine print reveals that the lucky punter won’t actually slip the surly bonds of Earth, but will place the bet remotely via a radio transmitter-equipped weather balloon Paddy intends to send into orbit. The punter will, however, get to visit the Paddy Power Space Academy (ahem) in Cambridgeshire. Full details are available via Paddy’s Facebook page.