There is no doubt that as an industry, betting is huge according to gamblingdata.com. In the UK alone, the betting industry is worth over €7.5bn. The online sports betting sector is worth over €790m per year to the UK economy, covering all major sports and allowing fans to bet on almost any facet of a game.
Betting and sport – a strong relationship
Sports betting and sports sponsorship have historically had a strong relationship, the sports fan long being a key target group for betting companies. Most notably is perhaps Bwin’s partnerships in European football with Real Madrid FC and now FC Bayern Munich.
Globally, €400m is spent by betting companies on sports sponsorship. Over half of the global spend on sports sponsorship is in Europe, a market which accounts for approximately €250m. Although investment into Europe is responsible for over half the total global spend from betting sports sponsorship, the amount spent across the continent has slowed. In both the German and French markets, betting sponsorship in sport has stagnated at €25m and €30m respectively. In Spain, the market has even decreased, dropping by 63%, with betting now accounting for approximately €15m of the Spanish sports sponsorship market.
In the UK however, this figure has increased. The betting industry now accounts for over €60m of the total UK sports sponsorship market, an increase of over 30%, double that of the Europe’s second biggest market, France. According to Repucom’s Sponsorglobe database, over 75% of that figure is invested in football with major deals including shirt sponsorship partnerships between Aston Villa FC and Dafabet as well as Fulham FC and Marathonbet. In addition, Bwin are also now the official online gaming and betting partner of Manchester United FC.
Repucom’s Sponsorglobe has found that fans of F1 (59%), cycling (57%) and motorsport in general (56%) are all more likely to gamble over the course of a year than football fans (55%). Although European football and specifically the English Premier League offer brands a platform for global exposure, investment into these other sports could see a resurgence to the European and global sports sponsorship landscape for betting companies.