The sports industry leads in terms of revenue worldwide. European soccer, for instance, topped the $40-billion mark in revenue just in 2019. With the hopes that the decreasing impact of COVID-19 will keep allowing fans to get back to the stadium, sponsors are also looking to strengthen their commercial ties with soccer teams.
A specific sector of the online casino market and their brands have begun to explore some aspects that justify millions of dollars in investment to support teams in various soccer leagues. The reasons are evident and the numbers seem to keep driving various gaming industry giants to the sport.
Basic Numbers to Get Started in Soccer
Taking the Premier League as an example, the structure of how games are set, organized and televised reveals a comprehensive framework fit for commercial exposure in a high-fanatic diverse market. The league is broadly covered in markets such as the U.S., Latin America and Asia, focusing on India and China.
With more than 90 games played per season, online casino operators have plenty of opportunities to market their brand. In addition, each game is played for 90 minutes, allowing for branding to be dominant throughout the entire match. With millions watching, even a low level of televised exposure could lead to big revenue results.
A Globalized Market
A globalized network of marketing and supply chain production has not only allowed fans to enjoy games from any location in the world. Still, it has provided soccer fans the opportunity to buy team merchandise and place wagers on their top teams whenever they want.
This fast-paced, high degree of exposure to the sports world is what some large players in the gaming industry are looking to exploit. For instance, soccer shirts are shipped throughout the world, and unlike American sports, big teams will tend to allow one sponsor to act as their prime brand partner in their uniforms. Some large-scale online casino providers have already commercialized this dynamic and have made it to the front of teams’ main jerseys.
As of 2019, 26 of 44 Premier League clubs were sponsored by casinos or betting sites. That rounds out to almost 60% of the league’s squads. These million-dollar contracts have also generated the same big buzz that smaller teams across the globe have promoted to put their image out there.
Growing Popularity for Soccer Betting
In Spain, gambling among younger players has increased by over 28% in the last two years. With more evident exposure, online casino giants have been able to catch the attention of younger crowds looking for more involvement in the sport.
Spain is just another country where 15 of their 20 league teams are tied, to some degree, to a sponsorship contract with a significant online casino or betting site. With countries such as the U.S. slowly opening the door to online gambling and growing commercial contracts with leagues such as the Premier and La Liga in Spain, markets are beginning to welcome betting and gambling companies as highly profitable opportunities to exploit the sport’s image.
Challenges Lay Ahead
In England, televised game spaces are now being waived by government authorities, and soon a law will begin to prohibit all gambling-related commercial areas during all Premier League soccer matches. In Spain, the government is also expected to control how sponsorship deals are sealed between teams and gaming industry companies.
Whether this is an attempt to polish the concept that sports are to remain detached from the ties of gambling and online casino giants, or whether negotiations between teams and online betting providers are now searching for larger and more powerful tax-generated interests will challenge both sides.
For teams that rely on revenue from online casinos and betting companies, their sources for sponsorship will have to be modified quickly. For big players in the gaming industry, the challenge will become how to sell their products without impacting fans and crowds that the government might think of as malicious and not by fundamental simple commercial interests.