Mayweather’s pants: How boxing and sports sponsorship has evolved

RINGSIDE 07/05/2018

It took until the 2002 – 03 seasons for a betting firm to first appear on a football shirt, and that was when Betfair began to sponsor Fulham.

You can see gambling sponsorship plastered all over boxing rings and heavyweight’s shorts on big fight nights.

Some of the UK’s biggest bingo sites and casino’s pay big money to have their shiny logo printed on fighters shorts and sometimes even underwear like the infamous Paddy Power Floyd Mayweather stunt!

Now, when talking about football shirt sponsorship the Premier League has 50% of shirts showing a gambling advert, and it feels as if gambling firms have taken over with betting adverts being shown in the pre-match build-up and at halftime too.

The 2016 – 17 season was the peak for betting to be displayed on football shirts with ten teams wearing a betting company name on their kit, and this was the biggest representation for any single industry sector in a single season.

This feels in total contrast when you consider what occurred with the Football Association during the summer as they terminated their long-standing sponsorship agreement with Ladbrokes after a series of very high-profile controversies leading to the Association no longer having any type of sponsorship deal with any betting company.

Even though Huddersfield and Newcastle struck deals with betting companies after joining the division in the summer, the reality is that the number of gambling firms that are sponsoring Premier League club’s shirts has dropped since the end of last season, although there has been a massive £47.3 million put into shirt sponsorship in the Premier League by various betting firms.

Last Summer also saw the Premier League lose its last sponsor from a beer company after Everton signed a new agreement with SportPesa.

There are a few reasons why beer companies have been moved out of the sponsorship market as shirt sponsorship has great appeal for both the UK market and those companies overseas.

Even though companies have to have a license in the UK to sponsor teams in the Premier League and are made to pay a 15% tax on any profits from customers in the UK, they are still keen to enter the market. 

Companies like  ManBetX who sponsor Crystal Palace or OPE Sports who sponsor Huddersfield, as well as other companies like LeTou, Dafabet, M88 and SportPesa all have a strong presence and it’s not about the UK market at all.

For firms such as the above are more interested in the overseas market and the global appeal that will be brought to them if they join with the Premier League, such is the world-wide respect that the Premier League commands.

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