The National Rugby League (NRL) has extended the current sponsorship deal they had with the online bookmaker, Sportsbet. It is believed that it was a tussle of war between the two betting giants as Crownbet put in a stern challenge in the rugby sponsorship deal. The sponsorship is believed to be worth $60 million.
By winning the sponsorship rights, Sportsbet will sponsor the NRL until 2020 while they act as their betting partner. This is despite the current two-year shirt deal that the bookmaker has with AFL side, Brisbane Lions.
It seems like the competition between the two bookmakers is far from over as Crownbet sponsors the entire AFL in a deal believed to be in the region of $10 million per season.
NRL to adhere to the advertising code of conduct through the Sportsbet deal
The Sportsbet deal came at the time when advertising and promotion of online betting are under scrutiny from. The government, through the AANA (Australia Association of National Advertisers), restricts gambling firms from promoting their products freely.
Among the advertising restrictions, the companies are restricted to the following;
- Glorifying gambling and betting
- Linking betting to getting rich
- Using cartoon characters or superheroes to appeal to youngsters
- Showing gamblers drinking while betting
The NRL has assured the critics that their deal with the betting giants will be safe in terms of advertising to children. NRL’s commercial head, Andrew Abdo said they will try to restrict the explicit advertising as much as possible.
He was quoted in a statement saying; “One of the crucial factors in this agreement is that there will be controls in place to restrict the promotion of wagering, especially to minors, and Sportsbet will fund and implement a market leading responsible gambling program.”
The AANA also urged the organisations to be responsible for their marketing as they are trying to build an Australia free of gambling problems. AANA also indicated that it is avoiding a situation where gambling firms take over sporting codes like in the European soccer.