FC Barcelona has signed a three-season sponsorship contract with the London-based online gambling company, Betfair. The contract took effect on 1 July 2016 and will run until 30 June 2019. Part of the agreement is that online gambling giants will have their logo on display in the home ground of the Spanish football team’s LED systems and through the team’s digital channels.
Betfair’s marketing and brand director, Paul Gambrill, said he believes that the agreement will help achieve his organisation’s ambition of growing the brand globally. This was also echoed by Barcelona’s marketing head, Manel Arroyo, when he said that the fans of the club can look forward to exclusive promotions and special sporting experiences.
Both parties are very excited about what many critics consider to be the biggest partnership for any of the online gambling firms in the sports scene. The deal comes shortly after another online gambling company, Tipbet, signed a deal with the German second division club Fortuna Düsseldorf for a one season deal. The deal at Fortuna Düsseldorf gives the gambling company access to the club’s TV advertising boards as well as marketing avenues while Tipbet will have frequent completions to give out the club’s VIP match tickets.
What about the match-fixing stigma of online gambling sites?
Online gambling sites have often been blamed in the past for match-fixing scandals and it remains to be seen whether the Betfair-Barcelona deal will carry on without the accusations. This is because Barcelona is one of the most supported football clubs in the world at the moment and they have just won the La Liga title, meaning that they have many followers.
The main fear is that with Barcelona almost guaranteed to be the title contenders in every tournament they play in, Betfair may have a slight advantage over other online gambling sites.
This may be the valid point to some critics, but it looks like sports administrators are not giving this idea the attention it deserves.