Gambling companies face a difficult challenge in promoting their services. With much of mainstream marketing channels off limits for various reasons, online operators in particular often turn to the likes of sports sponsorship and other forms of promotion to raise the profile of their brands.
Gambling giant GVC Holdings has done just that, becoming the latest industry big name to tie up sponsorship deals with major football clubs - this time, in Spain’s professional leagues. La Liga’s Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are the latest two to confirm, alongside Valencia, completing a line-up of three top-flight teams, now sponsored by the company’s bwin Sports brand.
As three of the league’s most prominent teams, this represents one of the most significant tie ups in the league from an online gambling brand. But is this the end of GVC’s sponsorship in sports, or could their other brands like partycasino be next in line for a high profile sponsorship deal?
Why gabling operators sponsor sports
GVC’s sponsorship deals may be wide-ranging, but they are far short of being the only deals in town. In fact, gambling sponsorship in football in particular has risen to become one of the main sources of team sponsorship for the industry - even the Premier League is dominated by betting brands adorning the shirts of sporting heroes. But why exactly do gambling brands consider football and professional sports more generally to be such a great investment for their brands?
For sports betting companies, the answer is immediately obvious. As a general rule, you won’t find too many people betting on sports that aren’t already fans of the sports they are betting on. In terms of reaching your specific customer profile, you can’t really get better than that when you’re promoting a sports betting product.
As well as getting your brand in front of the eyes of millions of sports fans, there’s also the credibility and name recognition benefits that go hand in hand with appearing emblazoned across a team’s kit, for example. It’s an obvious channel for sports gambling brands to reach out to existing and prospective players, through linking their brand with an established professional team.
But it’s not just sports betting that has a crossover with the world of professional sports. Online casino gambling too shares many of the similar demographics of appeal as sports, and with sports betting reaching saturation across the football industry in particular, it can only be a matter of time before big casino brands start to muscle in on the action.
How online gambling is growing as a source of sports sponsorship
If you’re a regular fan of football yourself, you will have found it difficult to avoid the rise to prominence of online gambling sponsorships. So effective has this method proven for casino brands that they have come to virtually dominate shirt sponsorships in the Premier League, with over half of all teams sponsored by gambling brands.
The reasons for this are many and diverse, but can be summed up in one simple idea: sports sponsorship works really well for gambling brands. This puts into perspective the value in especially multi-team deals, like the one secured by GVC Holdings in La Liga. By securing these properties, GVC are not only promoting their own brands, but also blocking the path for competitors to capture that valuable sponsorship real estate.
Will partycasino be next?
GVC Holdings have clearly identified the strategic benefits that come from having their brands linked to some of the world’s leading professional sports teams. There are rumours swirling that the company is not done yet, and following on from these three high profile sponsorship signings, could be eyeing up similar moves to promote their flagship online casino brand, partycasino.
As a notable name in the industry, partycasino looks ripe for a sports sponsorship deal in future. This would help GVC reach out to new players, and cement the casino brand as the only place for casino gambling online. In complement to their sports brands, a high profile sponsorship deal could well turn out to be the jewel in their marketing crown.
Nothing is set in stone as of yet, and it’s impossible to confirm or deny whether partycasino will be the next big-name gambling sponsor. But with marketing budget to burn, and incredible promotional opportunities arising in professional sports all the time, some would say it’s a matter of when, rather than if, for the casino brand.