The Premier League announced yesterday that its clubs had voted almost unanimously in favour of phasing out betting sponsorships, and so SBC News reached out to bookmakers with top-flight partners to gain an industry perspective.
Replying to our queries, Bill Mummery, CEO of Celton Manx Limited – parent company SBOTOP, the front-of-shirt sponsor of Leeds United – observed that the ‘voluntary agreement’ widely reported as a ‘ban’ does not come into force until after the 2025/26 season.
This, he noted, has allowed both bookmakers and clubs time to adjust their business arrangements and models to accommodate the withdrawal, as well as the investments made in ‘respective communities and causes’ associated with teams ‘from top to bottom of the league’.
Looking back on your Premier League sponsorships, how much value has it had to your overall marketing strategy?
SBOBET was I believe the first egaming brand to invest in the Premier League with West Ham. It is interesting that we established that because as a regulated adult activity, our Brand should not appear on junior kits or children’s replica kits.
Instead, we gave these kits to the Bobby Moore Cancer Charity. This at a time when alcohol brands were featured on PL Shirts including children’s replica shirts.
I think this demonstrates that as an industry we have always taken our Corporate and Social Responsibilities seriously.
What role would you say SBOTOP has played in Leeds’ development and its Premier League story?
We partnered with Leed United upon their return to the PL after some 16 years. An unnaturally long period for a club with such a strong history as one of the ‘Great English Clubs’.
We are hopeful that we will still be part of the Leeds PL story – with whom we have had an excellent relationship – going forward.
How do you plan to proceed with the partnership for the remainder of its run?
In terms of the effectiveness of such a ban, it is worth noting that Italian football introduced a similar measure for a period of three-to-five years then announced that it had delivered no benefit or impact and reversed their actions.
That said, we are keen to work with the Premier League going forward to maintain and further develop a business model that I believe has worked well and been mutually beneficial.