With Responsible Gambling Week 2019 well underway, Kindred Group has been utilising its sponsorship of UK sports teams and fixtures to ensure that safer gambling messages can gain the maximum level of exposure possible.
In an interview with CasinoBeats, sustainability manager at Kindred Group Anna Jein explained that the operator group’s sponsorship of UK teams offers a ‘huge opportunity to make a difference’.
She explained: “Sponsors have a unique link to communities, places and people, and therefore a huge opportunity to make a difference. We can help support more than just the club’s performance on the pitch. And that is why we boosted our efforts earlier in 2019.
“Through our 32Red brand, we launched a new model of football club sponsorship – one that means investing in the local community, as well as the club. Football clubs have a unique ability to leverage the power of football to engage supporters and improve lives.”
Earlier this year, 32Red committed itself to reinventing the current football sponsorship model by making a major investment into a new men’s mental health programme via a ‘Team Talk’ initiative.
The initiative saw the online gambling platform – which currently sponsors five Championship clubs and Rangers in the Scottish Premiership – invest heavily into the development of Team Talk hubs across the city where men can seek advice, help and encouragement to discuss their mental health.
Jein continued: “As part of the renewed terms of our sponsorship deal with Derby County, we announced a significant, yearlong investment in, and partnership with, Derby County’s Community Trust and their ‘Team Talk’ project.
“Their model – and our investment into the scheme – means DCCT will now reach, and support, hundreds more men across Derby who are struggling with mental health problems through their innovative project.”
Utilising such sponsorships has become a major driver for responsible gambling messaging for 32Red and Kindred Group, especially during industry-wide campaigns such as #RGWeek19.
“We believe sport can be a tool for social development and drive positive change in society. Sponsors have a unique link to communities and therefore a huge opportunity to make a difference, and through sponsorships organisations can help support sports clubs to use their power to add value to local communities,” she says.
“Our commitment to mental health stretches into horse racing too, where our Unibet brand has invested in the #GoRacingGreen campaign – a fantastic project that helps horse racing be accessible for those suffering from mental health issues.
“And we have also recently expanded our responsible gambling strategy through our 32Red and Unibet brands in the UK. This initiative means that responsible gambling messages will dominate all matches where two 32Red teams play each other during the 2019/20 season. The initiative was launched during one of the biggest matches in world football – Rangers vs Celtic – where Rangers amended front of shirt logo carried ’32Red: Stay in Control’.
“By using our assets to cut through effectively with sporting audiences, and promoting healthier gambling behaviour and advocating for control, we can work together with both our customers and wider society to make real progress in ensuring people gamble responsibly.”
Responsible Gambling Week focuses on triggering a national conversation about what it means to gamble responsibly, with the campaign taking place from 7-13 November.
Spearheaded by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG), the initiative works towards bringing together both British and Irish bookmakers and sports teams to raise awareness of responsible gambling initiatives.
“We see Responsible Gambling week as a catalyst for what we see now with more and more RG-messaging. It is crucial that we as an industry have these tough conversations year-long,” Jein added.
“That is why we at Kindred host the Sustainable Gambling Conference, to gather experts from across the industry under one roof and discuss how we can work together to secure safe gambling and a long-term sustainable industry.
“Initiatives like Responsible Gambling week are great ways of boosting communication and extend the safe gambling even further. Much has been said about gambling companies and our involvement in football. But at Kindred we are clear: Gambling companies and the wider industry have an important role to play in tackling problem gambling.
“Responsible Gambling Week is a good opportunity to create further awareness and engagement in the tools that are available to help customers stay in control. Responsible gambling is a very important part of our sustainability framework and has been an important part of our business from the very beginning.
“The key message from the industry towards the players must be that gambling should always be fun and a form of entertainment. It is also important that the players know that we offer a variety of tools to help ensure you only spend the time and money you can afford.”