Sunderland AFC and Betfair have joined forces with Betfair (Betfair Sportsbook) becoming the official UK betting partner of “The Black Cats.” The Betfair logo will now appear on Sunderland’s LED screens and on interview backdrops.
“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Betfair to the Sunderland family,” said Sunderland AFC’s commercial director Gary Hutchinson. “It is the fourth addition to the club’s partnership portfolio ahead of the 2015-16 season and we look forward to building a successful relationship with them, as we look to strengthen our stature both on and off the pitch.”
Stephen Mault, Betfair’s head of media, sponsorship and PR, said: “We are thrilled to have signed a deal with Sunderland to become the club’s official UK betting partner. Sunderland is a club with great heritage and we look forward to growing a successful relationship over the course of the upcoming season.”
Sunderland, who narrowly avoided relegation to The Championship during the 2014-15 season, recently signed a deal with Dafabet who are now the principle shirt sponsors of the Premier League club.
Betfair recently announced it was increasing its dividend to shareholders by 70% after seeing its operating profit increase 53% to £94.3 million.
With a total of 168 Premier League football matches being televised over the next three years, companies are scrambling to sign deals with top flight clubs. In July alone, remote gambling operator Mansion Group has become the sponsor of two Premier League teams. The shirts of newly promoted AFC Bournemouth and those of Crystal Palace now bear the Mansion logo.
In November 2014, the UK Gambling Commission issued a warning to sports teams that are sponsored by non-licensed gambling sites. At the time of the warning, Arsenal FC listed Bodog as its betting partner – Bodog does not carry a UK-issued gambling license – although this appears to no longer be the case. Both Betfair and Mansion Group do hold the appropriate licenses.
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