Why Casinos Sponsor Sports Teams

·13 min read

The gambling industry has been gradually growing over the years. It is more prosperous than many industries these days, and the interest in gambling doesn’t seem to go away. These days, players can gamble at traditional, land-based casinos or hop onto the best online casino from their mobile, from any place and at any time.

If you are a fan of gambling and love the occasional poker game or casino free spins on your favorite slot, you probably know the connection that these sites have with sports. Since many casinos these days offer sports betting in addition to table and card games, they frequently have sponsored ads on the website you are gambling on.

Gambling and sports have a strong connection for quite some time now. That being said, it is no wonder that casinos are the biggest sponsors of sports teams these days. This is a high-profile example of commercial branding partnership, one that is easily noticeable during matches, as well as on casino sites.

Yes, sports teams are sponsored by many different organizations including financial companies, banks, and even airlines. However, gambling brands such as casinos are most interested in sponsoring sports today because it offers them tremendous benefits.

If done right, sports team sponsorship can entirely transform the fortunes of a casino brand and make it more recognized worldwide. When people watch their favorite matches, learning about a casino that offers sports betting during the match can easily prompt them to try it out.

That being said, this article will show you why and how casinos sponsor sports team, as well as why they opt for such a costly investment in the first place.

Casinos and Sportsbooks Today

Sportsbooks and casinos are in high demand today. This is why the majority of grand casino brands include sports betting in their offers. How often have you come across a casino site that also features a sportsbook? Since this is trending, we won’t be seeing team sponsorship in matches from casinos going anywhere anytime soon.

Over the years, casinos sponsoring sports teams have been on the rise. This is pretty much the simplest cross-sell for casinos to make and, despite the big investments, the returns have been tremendous. Since sports is a big niche for many gambling organizations, targeting sports events and teams give casinos a great deal of recognition.

Naturally, the relationship isn’t one-sided i.e. it doesn’t only benefit the casinos that sponsor sports teams and events. Sports teams get enormous deals from casinos these days, and the money generated from such sponsorships make it possible for them to thrive financially in their industry.

How Sponsorship Works between Casinos and Sports Teams

If you follow sports regularly, you’ve probably noticed how the shirts of sports teams hold the logo of casinos, especially in the Premier League. This is a very profitable strategy for brand awareness that benefits both sides of the deal. When casinos and teams enter the deal, the players wear the casino’s name on their shirts during matches for as long as the deal lasts.

To enter such deals, betting companies reach out to sports teams of their choice. They use this as an opportunity to make their brand visible to millions of sports fans across the globe. Sponsoring sports teams, especially popular ones, make for the best campaign with the widest reach, and it attracts the target audience of casinos, too.

Most fans will jump at the opportunity to bet at the gambling company that sponsors the team they favor over any others. Since big clubs have millions of fans, the potential for reach for casinos these days is tremendous. In return, the casinos pay the teams millions of dollars in the form of sponsorship, which certainly isn’t bad for this side, too.

Sponsorships can go from smaller investments to enormous sums paid to sports teams. It usually depends on what the casino wants in return. If they want their name on the shirts, all over the events, and even in commercials, they need to pay significant sums to make it happen.

Naturally, the cost of sponsorship also depends on what team they choose to sponsor. If they want bigger recognition and wider reach, they need to invest tons of money in world-famous teams. If they cannot afford this, they can invest in some popular local sports and attract the local target audience.

Reasons Why Casinos Sponsor Sports Teams Today

Now that you know how this works, let’s take a look at the main benefits it offers to casinos.

  • Brand Awareness Boost

This is the number one reason why casinos pay millions of dollars to sponsor sports teams – to boost the brand awareness. With so many new casinos appearing on the market every year, these companies need to invest in the right marketing strategies to stand out from the crowd.

And what better way to attract the attention of gamblers than to put the casino’s name all across their favorite sports matches?

Depending on what team they sponsor and how much they invest in it, casinos can get recognition on a local or global level. This gives them a shot at attracting the target audience. Nowadays, most sports fans prefer to bet on the matches they watch to make the process more entertaining and possibly, even get a win.

In most cases, when a casino wants to target a local or specific market, they’ll sponsor events that are popular in that area. If they want to go broader, they’ll pick world-famous teams and invest millions of dollars to get their name out there for the whole world to see.

What happens when a casino sponsors a team or a sports event?

The casino will pay tons of money for the event to happen, and it will get more attention as a result of this. As a thank-you for their big investment, the event organizers will place banners and other materials that showcase the name of the casino brand.

If the casino in question also sponsors a team, their shirts and other materials such as water bottles, bags, etc., will also promote the brand’s name.

This way, when people turn on their TV or attend the event, they’ll see the brand’s logo and name all across the field. Even if they don’t pay much attention to it, they can unintentionally remember the logo or decide to give the site a peek and see what odds they offer for that match.

Soon enough, those players will start associating the casino with leadership, success, and trust it because it sponsors the teams they like. This makes for the biggest benefit of sports team sponsorships, and it is obvious why casinos invest so much in making it happen.

Some of the big brands in the industry used this type of marketing to become famous on a global level. Take, for example, Bwin. Everyone knows this betting company, but did you know that it all started with some successful sports sponsorships? Before the company invested in teams and events, it was unknown in many, many parts of the world.

At that point, teams like Real Madrid wore jerseys with the name Bwin. The casino promoted this sponsorship on their site proudly, which helped them reach billions of sports fans.

Nowadays, many casinos use sponsorships as a means to promote and advertise their brands. For example, Bet365 sponsors Stoke City, 1XBet sponsors Tottenham Hotspur, and Betway sponsors West Ham United.

  • Stronger Brand Image

Fans tend to trust brands that sponsor their favorite sports teams. If the brands passed the team’s background checks and were strong enough to sponsor important events, this means that they are reputable and safe to use.

There’s also a certain level of psychological impact of seeing the same brand all over the place, regularly. If you watch matches frequently and see the same name of the same casino all over again, you can easily form attachment to it. This strengthens the casinos’ brand image and helps increase their appeal.

  • Increase in Sales/ Players Interest

With brand awareness come more leads and with a stronger brand image come more customers. This is essentially the big goal of casinos and the reason why they are willing to invest so much in sports teams and events.

Making sales i.e. attracting more players to gamble on the website is the driving force for sponsorship. This is achieved in many different ways. For example, if a famous team publishes the odds of a sportsbook on their social media account because of sponsorships, the casino business can enjoy wide recognition. People will go on the site and make wagers using those odds.

In addition to this, casinos pay sports teams to post links on their website, social media accounts, and often run ad campaigns with popular club players.

Even if not all people who see these marketing strategies turn into customers, many will, which brings a whole new set of players to the casino’s website.

  • Highly Targeted Marketing

Sponsoring football clubs and events is the smartest marketing strategy for businesses such as casinos. When you work on a marketing strategy, you are attempting to target the people that are most likely to bet. For casinos and sportsbooks, these are people that are watching sports events and following their teams.

That being said, sports team sponsorship makes for the most targeted marketing strategy a casino can have today.

This opens up tons of opportunities for casinos, too. For example, one casino might offer promotions that are exclusive to a specific geographical area. If they want to target a section where their casino is available or a place with many gamblers, they can become sponsors of teams in the area.

Many sites sponsor teams gradually to reduce spending and maximize their income. For example, if a casino doesn’t have money to sponsor the world-renowned teams, which most sites don’t have these days, they’ll opt for a few local teams to improve conversions and sales in a specific area.

With the money they obtain from this, they can keep investing in local teams in other areas where their target audience resides.

For example, if a casino wants to boost their recognition in Europe, they’ll choose countries within this area.

Some Gambling Companies That Sponsor Sports Teams Today

As we mentioned, there are tons of casinos that sponsor local teams to boost recognition, but only a few have the funds to sponsor the big teams. This gives them global reach and a great deal of recognition, but also requires millions of dollars to work. Let’s take a look at the gambling companies that invest the most in sports sponsorships these days.

Bwin

Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG or Bwin is an Austrian company founded in 1997, which makes it one of the most established brands in the world. It currently offers sports betting, casino games, and poker to players from many countries. It features games from world-class developers and have great odds on hundreds of different matches.

Before Bwin entered the game of sponsorship, it wasn’t at all popular compared to today. Since its first deal, the brand has been a sponsor to many different teams over the years, including giants like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Manchester United.

As they progressed in the sponsorship world, Bwin managed to grab the attention of billions of people, and their sponsoring funds grew with it. The current activity of this company in the sports industry is bigger than ever since they now sponsor the Portuguese League Cup, as well as the second tier of Italy, Serie B.

Nowadays, they focus on several teams and leagues, which goes beyond just football. This giant in the industry cooperates with the International Basketball Association and sponsors grand events like the World Basketball Championship and the European Basketball Championship.

At the moment, Bwin has sponsorship deals with Valencia CF, the Copa del Rey winner of 2019, as well as Borussia Dortmund, the 2012 Bundesliga champions.

Betfair

Betfair is a gambling company that was established in 2000, which gives it over two decades of success on the market. This company has online bingo, poker, casino games, as well as a very popular sportsbook. In addition to this, Betfair now operates the largest online betting exchange in the world.

Betfair was the first gambling company that sponsored a football team from England. In 2002 and 2003, the casino sponsored Fulham. They later signed deals with different teams including Barcelona, Arsenal, Southampton, Manchester United, Sunderland, and Leicester City.

Nowadays, the company has a deal with Conmebol’s Libertadores and Sudamericana club competitions, which ends at the end of this year. This is just one of many sponsorship deals it has at the moment.

Bet365

Third on our list is Bet365, a company that is known all around the world. They have a big interest in sponsorship and have been doing this since their establishment in 2000. Nowadays, Bet365 has hundreds of betting shops worldwide, but their biggest presence is online. Bet365 is among the first companies to sponsor sports events and teams.

In 2018/9 alone, the company expanded its current sponsorship portfolio with contracts with 10 different teams in La Liga. This means that, at that point, Bet365 sponsored almost half the teams that were in the League, and the most popular ones for that matter. Their choices were Athletic Club, Getafe, Villareal, RCD Espanyol, Celta Vigo, SD Huesca, Rayo Vallecano, SD Eibar, and Real Villadolid.

Nowadays, Bet365 has deals with four Premier League teams: Newcastle United, Leicester, West Brom, and Wolverhapmton, as well as its home team Stoke City FC. The Stoke City FC home stadium was called Britannia Stadium, but it now has the name of its biggest sponsor – the Bet 365 Stadium.

Betway

Last but not least, Betway is a big sponsor in the sports world, too. This company was founded in 2006 and had limited number of offers. Nowadays, it offers casino gambling, sports betting, and even esports betting.

Betway’s marketing strategy was largely focused on sponsoring events, teams, and clubs around the world. They’ve entered into many beneficial sponsorship deals over the years. Right now, Betway is a major sponsor of West Ham United. Their first deal was signed in 2015 and cost the casino 20 million pounds.

In addition to this deal, the casino has active deals with Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City.

In addition to football deals, Betway sponsors all sorts of other sports and teams out there. It has many deals with teams and clubs, as well as venues and events in horse racing, esports, crickets, snooker, Bundesliga, NBA, and NHL.

Wrapping Up

In every match we see these days, there are some sponsors that proudly show their name. In most of them, especially the ones where popular teams play, we can see the names of casinos that are available online and offline. This is a winning formula for casinos and, based on what you learned in this article, it is evident why casinos spend millions to get their names in the world of sports.