Italian betting and football stakeholders have suffered a summer of discontent, with no Azzurri representation at Russia 2018 and the new Lega-5Star coalition government implementing a blanket ban on betting advertising and sponsorships across all sports and media formats.
Navigating a disruptive summer, Italian betting, media and sports have called for any good news story… Step forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus FC.
As world football prepared for its final week of World Cup Russia 2018 play, Turin’s ‘Vecchia Signora’ (Old Lady) shocked global sports securing the services of a 33-year old Ronaldo, executing a Serie A record-breaking €110 million transfer from Real Madrid.
The pending arrival of Ronaldo has perplexed all Italian sports stakeholders, as the country and its beloved calcio prepare for its dose of much needed ‘CR7 medicine’.
Ronaldo is not only considered a coup for Juventus, but for the whole of Serie A, a league which was once the powerhouse of European football, but which has decayed in its own corruption scandals’ and diminished in its global standing against the might of Premier League and Spain’s La Liga.
From a betting perspective, the ‘CR7 factor’ will be welcomed by the new Italian betting faces Betway and Marathonbet who prior to the Lega-5Star blanket ban had signed sponsorship arrangements with Roman football clubs’ AS Roma and SS Lazio respectively.
Betway became the AS Roma Exclusive Training Kit Partner for the season of 2020-21, with an agreement that will generate €5 million per season. Marathonbet and S.S. Lazio are yet to be official, however, the club and bookmaker have agreed a shirt sponsorship for the next three years.
Both sponsorships will likely be revised due to Lega-5Star advertising/marketing restrictions which will be implemented on Italian football from 15 July 2019.
Despite securing a ‘transitional marketing period’ for betting advertisers to fulfil their existing contracts, Serie A officials have deeply criticised Lega-5Star blanket ban, detailing that it was a needless action which will not serve any of its intended purposes.
“It would cause competitive disadvantages to the Italian clubs and our teams advertising budget would be redirected abroad. In the 2017-18 season, twelve Serie A clubs have signed a partnership contract with companies of the betting industry, considered the 5th field for investments in the rank of the t-shirt sponsorship in the 6 main European tournaments”.
The new Serie A season begins on August 19. Italian sports recognises that the ‘Ronaldo factor’ can’t fix Italy’s complex political dynamics, but the Portuguese starboy might act as a form of nandralone to soothe aching bones following a disruptive summer.
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