Fun88: Newcastle ends sponsoring

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Maximilian Deininger 17. June 2023

Newcastle United has finished the sponsoring deal with the gambling provider Fun88 for the coming season. The British professional club announced this by press release. Since the British government has been flirting with a change in the Gambling Act for some time and has been planning restrictions in sponsorship, the club management was forced to take this step. The Fun88 logo will not adorn Newcastle’s jerseys in the coming season of the Premier League.

The clubs in the Premier League face financial losses due to the planned restrictions on gambling sponsoring. ((© Alex Motoc/Unsplash)

Realignment of the association

In 2017, Newcastle United presented the online gambling provider Fun88 as the official main and jerseys. The deal secured the British professional club Annually one million And was only extended in the long term in 2020 – at improved conditions. Fun88 the partnership cost around 6.5 million GBP (almost 7.6 million $ ).

However, the partnership has now ended prematurely almost one and a half years after the extension. According to information British media the sponsoring deal was dissolved mutually. Both parties are unsure in view of the impending restrictions due to the planned change in the law and decided to pull the ripcord together.

Nevertheless, the change in the British Gambling Act as the main reason for the early separation is cited, media representatives and experts assume that the decision on the Takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi consortium based. In November 2021, the “Public Investment Fund” (PIF)-the Saudi Arabia State Fund-put around 300 million GBP on the table to to buy the traditional British club.

The change of ownership promotes Newcastle into completely new financial and sporty hemispheres, which are very lucrative for donating sponsors are. Among other things, the national airline “Saudia” and the energy group “Aramco” should be considered as future jersey sponsors. Both companies are a billion dollar.

Public criticism. The takeover of Newcastle United by the PIF caused a gigantic media echo in the past November and attracted a lot of criticism. Due to the prevailing human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, organizations such as Amnesty International condemned the deal. The club tour of Newcastle United was not deterred by public criticism and held on the way.

Restrictions in gambling sponsorship

Changes and adjustments to the National Gambling Act have been discussed in Great Britain since the beginning of 2021. Over time, the elaboration became more and more concrete. For example, the British daily “The Times” reported that politics About the increasing gambling addiction in the country concern, which is favored by the boom in digital casino games and sports betting. A general ban on sponsorship in sports by gaming companies should bring about containment.

Lau Matt Zarb-Cousin, director of the player protection organization “Clean Up Gambling”, are footballers, darts professionals and rugby players like Walking advertising boards for gambling groups. This type of advertising has a negative impact on both children and people at risk of addiction because it suggests that betting and sport are essential.

Professional sport affected. Even if professional football in Great Britain suffers most from the planned sponsorship restrictions, other sports would also be affected by the ban. For example, darts, rugby and snooker are extremely popular on the island. Accordingly, bookmakers and gaming companies are very busy in these sports with their sponsorship and marketing activities.

Reactions in the Premier League

Almost 50 percent of the Premier League clubs are currently being sponsored by gaming companies. The spectators in the stadium and in front of the domestic screens see a variety of logos of online bookmakers and casinos. For example, Betway adorns West Ham’s jerseys and pays ten million GBP per season. Burnley, on the other hand, is sponsored by Lovebet and collects 7.5 million GBP annually.

The respective clubs now have to consider how they will deal with the upcoming sponsoring ban for gambling providers. Some reactions have already been made. Crystal Palace explained in May about the to dissolve existing deal with W88. The gaming brand will be replaced by the car dealer “Cinch” in the coming season. Especially bitter: With Aston Villa, W88 only lost a partner in 2020 in der Premier League.

However, there are also teams who capture the cooperation with representatives from the gambling industry – e.g. Everton FC. The club only recently went one Three-year partnership with the crypto-casino stake a.

Stake Casino. The online casino specializes in cryptocurrencies and is considered an emerging brand in this sector. The deal with Everton’s deal can cost Stake around ten million GBP per season. From July, among other things, the logo of the crypto casino will be shown on the jerseys of all Everton teams.