Privately-held UK online betting operator Bet365 has burnished its relationship with its hometown of Stoke-on-Trent by inking a naming rights deal for Stoke City FC’s home stadium.
On Thursday, Bet365 announced it had inked a six-year deal with the club to rename its home ground Bet365 Stadium starting with the 2016-17 English Premier League season. The stadium had been known as Britannia Stadium, but that brand was recently phased out following its absorption by The Co-operative Banking Group.
The deal marks a milestone in UK betting sponsorship ranks, as some operators have inked deals to get their name on a particular stand of a football ground, but Bet365 is the first betting operator to secure an EPL venue’s headline naming rights. The new deal will also see Bet365 extend its shirt sponsorship of Stoke City by another three years.
The negotiations were undoubtedly assisted by the fact that Stoke City FC is owned by the Coates family, whose patriarch Peter founded Bet365, while daughter Denise and son John run the betting company.
John Coates said the company had “benefited enormously” from the shirt sponsorship and thus the naming rights deal “seemed a natural fit.” Tune in next week, when the Coates family announces it has reached a deal with city hall to rename the town Bet365-on-Trent.
UNIBET RE-UP WITH CARIBBEAN CRICKET
In other sponsorship news, online betting operator Unibet recently announced it had decided to extend its branding presence with Caribbean cricket.
Unibet signed on as official betting partner of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) last July and the relationship has gone swimmingly enough that the parties have extended the deal by a further two years. Unibet has similarly re-upped its sponsorship of CPL squad St Lucia Zouks. Last year’s CPL attracted a global audience of over 90m viewers.