Parimatch limits scope of Chelsea sponsorship

Parimatch Tech will limit its marketing arrangements with Chelsea FC as part of its sponsroship arrangement with the club, as the team’s owner Roman Abramovic is sanctioned by the UK government.

The Russian billionaire and owner and former Director of the Premier League club was placed on a list of sanctioned business-people by British authorities due to his ties to Vladimir Putin’s regime. 

Although his position on Chelsea’s board of directors has been suspended by the league and he has stated his intention to sell the club – prompting at least two multi-billion pound offers according to some media reports – Abramovic is still the owner of the team. 

Parimatch first inked a sponsorship agreement with Chelsea in August 2021, with the three-year deal including the display of the brand’s logo on LED systems at Stamford Bridge as well as granting the firm the right to leverage the club’s digital, social and logistical assets.

The international betting and gaming firm will maintain its sponsorship arrangement with Chelsea, but will instead use its LED signage to promote its volunteering and humanitarian efforts.

“After considering the situation, we have decided to pause all joint marketing and brand campaigns with the club featuring the Parimatch logo and brand,” a Parimatch statement read.

“Together with our licensed partner in Great Britain, we have agreed to use the LED display systems at Stamford Bridge exclusively for the promotion of our volunteering and donation activities to help Ukraine, which Chelsea FC are supportive of.”

Parimatch, founded in Kyiv in 1994, has been extremely vocal in its condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to its roots in the country, and has enacted several measures in response.

The company has been donating large sums of money to support the Ukrainian military and general public throughout the course of three week conflict, having most recently doubled its financial aid from UAH 30 million to UAH 60 million – around €2.9 million.

Issuing an update yesterday, the firm detailed that so far UAH 39 million has been spent on ammunition, three million on medicine, clothing, food and logistics and 18 million on humanitarian aid, binoculars, body armour, drones, helmets, military spec, thermal imagers, and night vision devices.

Additionally, the Cyprus-based firm – which operates the Parimatch betting brand and provides B2B technological services – withdrew its Parimatch Russia franchise shortly after the initial invasion, citing the “military aggression of the Russian Federation”.

Cross industry condemnation of Russian military actions has seen a range of companies suspend their business relationships and/or operations in the country, whilst the Gambling Industry for Ukraine initiative has so far raised hundreds of thousands in donations.

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