On the opening day of the Betting on Football Conference at Stamford Bridge, an expert panel gave their insight on the gambling market in Spain and how it’s perceived by the Spanish audience.
The panel entitled Spain – a new window of opportunity, which took place as part of the Global Market Profiles track, saw suppliers and operators come together to give an intriguing insight into the Spanish market.
Mikel Lopez de Torre, Chairman of Jdigital detailed some of the research he has done on the relationship between Spanish sports fans and the Spanish gambling sector: “As a sports fan myself, I think fans in general tend to understand that when companies that put money into the things we love, then it’s to develop them and help them grow. We run market research regularly and we haven’t seen market research to suggest that there is any animosity or bad feeling towards to gambling companies sponsoring football clubs.
“We collaborate with La Liga and we what see the more we work with clubs and sports institutions, is that it’s very hard for any club or institution to find a partner that’s better aligned with their target markets and better matched with their targets then betting companies. Whether it be maintaining integrity or ensuring that sports remain highly entertaining, we are perfectly aligned with sports clubs.”
Jacob Lopez Curciel, CEO of OPTIMA also expressed that for fans of clubs, as long as they see the sponsor operating correctly, their main concern is the club: “I think from the fan’s perspective, their biggest concern is that the team is successful and achieves growth without any problems.”
As Group Sales Director for Baskonia- Alaves Group, Pablo Ortiz is in a better position than most to detail how the gambling industry is perceived amongst Spanish sports fans: “From the fans and the club, there is no bad perception about the gambling sector. It represents people coming into the club and putting money into the club to help them buy players, so from the fans perspective it’s all positive.”
Christian Tirabassi, Senior Partner for Ficom Leisure also emphasised the importance of role sponsorships play in the strong partnership the gambling sector has with sports fans, stressing that “the sponsorship framework providing protection for the players and punters”.