Gambling Sponsorship Content – Betting Companies Doing More to Engage with Audiences
As content marketing becomes an increasing presence in the footballing world, we look into some of the best content from gambling sponsors in English football.
Football teams hold some of the most lucrative sponsorship deals in the sporting world with teams in the Premier League holding sponsorship deals of over £30 million. Whilst the top four teams all have interest from some of the biggest companies and corporations around the world, mid-table and lower-league teams, as well as teams in the national leagues, are all being sponsored by betting companies from around the world. Obviously, due to the nature of betting, there are ranging restrictions that limit some aspects of sponsorship, but there is also ample opportunity for teams to build lasting relationships with large audiences.
The sports betting and gambling industry boast some of the largest profits than many industries, and with betting companies often housing the ideal target audience for football teams, there’s no wonder there’s been an increase in the sponsorship deals with betting companies from around the world in the premier league. Betting companies play a big role within the sports industry, not only providing a cash influx for the football teams but also creating content that can directly engage and influence football fans.
A wide range of content is being produced in the sports and betting industry as each betting company looks to engage the biggest audiences and secure increased support. Irish betting company, Paddy Power has managed to make a name for themselves in the social media realm, and subsequently have become the most followed UK betting company on Twitter. Though they do not sponsor a specific team, Paddy Power have tailored their content on Twitter and Facebook to reach out directly to their target audience, football fans, and have been consistently creating engaging and interactive content that allows fans to get involved. Their presence on Twitter engages directly with their target audience and allows their following to relate to Paddy Power as a brand whilst sharing the common interest of football. Different to the likes of Paddy Power, who are generalised with their content, betting companies who sponsor football teams are taking extra care with their production of not only content but also in building their relationship with fans. The UK based betting company 888sport have provided supporters with a unique opportunity that will no doubt create a shift in how sponsorship deals work in future. 888sport sponsor 4 teams in the English Football League Championship; Birmingham City, Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Preston North End and have offered fans free away travel for games up until Christmas. The campaign acts as a great ploy for supporters to become engaged with not only their football team but also the team’s sponsors.
888sport aren’t the only team that has helped supporters travel to away games; Sky Bet, who fall under the Sky corporation, sponsor the National Football League which houses National League 1, National League 2 and the National League Championship. Sky Bet gave Carlisle fans the opportunity to travel with Sky Bet as they travelled South to Somerset based Yeovil, and created a video called “Sky Bet makes away days better for Carlisle United fans”. Sky Bet, having connections throughout English football were also able to produce feature pieces regarding stories of high interest to supporters of ranging clubs, as they try to build the relationship between sponsors and fans. Various features were created including a piece about AFC Bournemouth and their rise through the football league’s, titled ‘The Rise and Rise of AFC Bournemouth’ and another regarding Portsmouth FC, called ‘How the Fans Saved Portsmouth”. All of the feature content produced by Sky Bet allows for fans and supporters to relate with their sponsors and clubs, incorporating history that allows supporters to feel further connected with their team.
888sport also began a content campaign that gave fans and insight into further goings on within their clubs with their ‘Fans First’ campaign. The campaign showed video content showing fans with engaging content about their club’s unsung heroes, the kit-men, it gives viewers behind-the-scenes insights to the day-to-day tasks of the kit-men and also gave indirect publicity of the brand whose logo is printed on the playing shirts.
Following 888sports model of multiple football clubs,Kenya-based betting company SportPesa have become the premium shirt sponsors of Hull City FC, as well as becoming Arsenal’s official betting partner. The two Premier League clubs will allow not only for the sport of football to grow in Kenya, but will also allow the English clubs to attract supporters from Africa as both look to increase their fanbase, with arsenal fans being offered a range of club related benefits including official merchandise and match tickets. As part of the partnership, Arsenal are also looking to help build the football infrastructure in Kenya, offering five-day training camps allowing for footballer and coaches to improve their footballing knowledge and ability, whilst fundamentally helping grassroots football in Kenya
Malta-based betting company, Betway signed a sponsorship deal with West Ham football club back in 2015 to become the main shirt sponsor for the London club. Betway partnered with global media company and Whistle and Sky Sports programme Soccer AM to deliver a six-part series of video content for supporters. The content, named ‘The Academy of Football’ gives viewers an insight to training sessions and playing life as an amateur team of West Ham fans were given the opportunity to be the focal point. The branded-content showcased a customer focused approach, using its esteemed position within the club to tell fans a story and present an experience for viewers while the ‘Betway’ brand is a constant throughout the six episodes.
Betway Marketing Director; Anthony Werman “The Academy of Football series is rooted in our desire to create memorable content that conveys our passion for sport and understanding of the emotions and bonds fans have with their sport or team. By giving these fans a once in a lifetime opportunity to live the Premier League life we feel Betway has distinguished itself as a brand with a unique tone of voice.”
Sunderland’s premium shirt sponsor, another betting company, Dafabet based in the Philippines are also looking to utilise the relationship the football club holds with its supports as they have partnered with supporting group ‘Ha’way the Flags’ which provides the stadium with banners and crowd-surfing flags on matchdays. Fans are given the opportunity to vote and decide which play will feature in the flag for each matchday which will be donated by lead shirt sponsor Dafabet. As well as Sunderland, Dafabet is also the premium sponsors for Championship team Blackburn Rovers, and Scottish League champions, Celtic FC.
Celtic football club became the first British football club to house in-stadium wi-fi which those attending could access the internet download the matchday app and become interactive further with the club. In more recent time, online betting company Unibet teamed up with the Scottish football giants to utilise the in-stadium wi-fi; offering a range of odds to fans logged onto the matchday app ‘CelticLIVE’ including in-play odds linked to live stats and gameplay such as next scorer and result predictions.
In-stadium connection is becoming a more popular aspect of engaging spectators, with Wembley incorporating increased connection speeds and the likes of Manchester City adding Wifi to their stadiums to allow digitally savvy supporters to freely interact via the internet.
Football clubs offer direct passage to audiences, with the huge amounts of supporters and possible marketing avenues, betting companies also become the ideal sponsors for football clubs, allowing for large target audiences to subject to ranging content and offers. Betting companies will continue to play a part in the Premier League as well as the National Leagues as more companies look to broaden their fan-bases and engage audiences, via football clubs. The likes of Betway (Malta), Dafabet (Philippines) and SportPesa (Kenya) have all looked to build and grow their companies through the global and international fan base that the Premier league holds around the world, as TV rights are being sold around the world to show Premier League games, there will always be an increase willing sponsors, ready to have their name projected around the world.