Sports sponsorship in the UK is big business. In fact, the industry is estimated to be worth around £2 billion annually.
For most teams and tournament organisers, the revenue generated from high-profile sponsorship deals is essential for survival. And for sponsors willing to splash the cash, the resulting exposure can prove highly lucrative.
The latter point clearly hasn’t been lost on MrQ.com which has been rather active in its support of major UK sporting events of late.
MrQ.com is Taking Aim
In February 2023, the online bingo and slots operator was announced by the PDC as an associate sponsor of the UK Darts Open – a major ranking tournament on the arrow-throwing circuit that’s considered to be the ‘FA Cup of Darts’. A month later and Mr Q extended its sponsorship agreement for the coveted Players Championship 2023.
The St Albans’ based operator was also the main financial backer of the recently-held UK Snooker Championship and is the official shirt sponsor of Watford FC.
Paddy Power’s PDC Partnership
This push for publicity through sport is now widespread among major gambling operators, with darts increasingly being targeted. The forthcoming PDC World Darts Championship is to be sponsored by Paddy Power which is replacing Cazoo after three years.
This particular deal is a major coup for the Irish bookmaker, especially considering the kind of viewing figures that the tournament pulls in. The 2022 final alone drew more than 2 million viewers.
Beyond the Oche
Gambling companies are highly visible when it comes to top-flight football as well. Of the twenty Premier League teams, eight have shirt sponsorship deals with sportsbook and iGaming sites, among them, Aston Villa (BK8), Bournemouth (Dafabet), Everton (Stake.com) and West Ham (Betway). These deals are estimated to have an annual value of more than £60 million.
In Spain, no less than 17 La Liga clubs have secured commercial partnerships with gambling brands, most notably Real Madrid with Bwin and Sevilla with Marathon bet.
Front of shirt sponsorship deals are set to be banned in the 2026/27 season. However, there should still be plenty of opportunities for gambling brands to promote their wares – take for example Stoke City’s home ground, which was renamed Bet 365 Stadium in 2016.
Although the government is apparently planning a crackdown, the visibility of sportsbook and casino advertising in sports, looks set to become far more prevalent in the short to medium term.