Betfair, Bet365 and Smarkets up stakes in football sponsorship arms race

TAGs: Arsenal, Bet365, Betfair, Queens Park Rangers, Smarkets, sponsorship, West Bromwich Albion

betfair-bet365-smarkets-football-sponsorshipOnline betting exchange Betfair has inked a European betting partnership with English Premier League club Arsenal.

Arsenal went down to defeat against West Ham in their EPL season opener over the weekend but emerged a winner from its new deal with Betfair. The partnership covers continental Europe, excluding the UK, Ireland, Italy and Russia.

Betfair will enjoy branding at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium for the club’s domestic games while also getting the rights to use team players in marketing pitches. In exchange, Arsenal gets an undetermined pile of cash and team fans will enjoy myriad exclusive betting offers and promotions.

The deal further bolsters Betfair’s EPL profile, having recently inked betting partnerships with Leicester City, Sunderland and Aston Villa.

Not to be outdone, rival betting exchange Smarkets has inked its first ever sponsorship deal with Queens Park Rangers. The wide-ranging deal identifies Smarkets as QPR’s ‘main partner,’ a designation that includes Global Betting Partner, Official Club Partner, Official Stand Partner and Official Training Kit Partner. Presumably, if anyone from QPR goes swimming, someone from Smarkets has to go along in case they get a cramp.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Smarkets will get to see its logo on the front of QPR’s jerseys and the back of its shorts as well as on the first team squad and management training kit for all competitions. Smarkets also gets naming rights to the Ellerslie Road Stand.

Smarkets chief marketing officer Alex Wheldon said the company chose QPR for its first footie sponsorship foray because the club shared Smarkets’ “desire for success and is representative of our company ethos.” QPR commercial director Euan Inglis logrolled back, saying it only bothered inking such deals with companies that are “consistently competing at the highest level.”

Finally, online bookies Bet365 have extended their sponsorship deal with the EPL’s West Bromwich Albion. The pair had one year left to go on their existing deal, but things have gone well enough that the two sides figured they’d stretch it out. The multi-year extension will see Bet365 continue to serve as the club’s UK and European betting partner, with plenty of branding at Hawthorns stadium, on interview backdrops and via the club’s social media channels.


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