Betway & Dafabet, Seal La Liga Sponsorships

September 01, 2020

- Grant Whittington

Win Technologies UK subsidiary Betway and leading Philippines-headquartered online casino games and sports betting operator Dafabet both recently signed big sponsorship deals alongside two of Spain’s most prominent La Liga clubs.

Following the recent inking of two new sports betting sponsorship deals, Betway has just become the official new sponsor of Spain’s Celta Vigo Spanish Premier League club, with Dafabet doing the same in partnership with Cadiz FC. Last-mentioned deal means that Dafabet will for a period of two years display its logo and name on the front of the club’s jerseys, as well as on all clothing worn during practice and travel.

And as for Betway, its deal alongside Celta Vigo authorises the UK bookie to assume all official bookmaking duties on behalf of the popular La Liga football club. These include in-stadium advertising and promo rights as well as the release of all-new promotional content ahead of upcoming La Liga matches and competitions.

Major Ban Looming On The Horizon

What makes of the latest new deals to be all that more significant in terms of timing is the upcoming betting ban due to come into force as early as October 2020. The proposed ban seeks to criminalize nearly all forms of sport betting and gambling marketing – including shirt sponsorships and the official branding of stadia.

Not only is the upcoming new decree set to effectively wipe out at least €80 million in terms of forced bookmaker sponsorship renegotiations, but the ban also threatens the very survival of some of Spain’s oldest sports clubs. Initially expected to be gradually rolled out and phased in over the course of a few years, already financially embattled clubs are now left with less than 2 months to figure out a way to hold on to their existing gambling sponsorships without stepping on any judicial toes in the process.

Garzon Calls Clubs Reckless

Left-wing politician Alberto Garzon, who also happens to be the mastermind behind the upcoming new royal decree, has in the meantime said that professional clubs continuing to forge new sponsorship agreements at this late stage in the game, are nothing less than irresponsible and reckless.

Since all bookmaker branding will come October be banned from being displayed on club shirts, Garzon said it makes absolutely no sense for clubs to at this late stage be entering into two or even three year partnerships, only to have to take those same partnerships apart around the re-negotiation table a few months on.

But the situation is a great deal more complex than what the right-wing politician is trying to make it out to be. Since the rules pertaining to the upcoming ban aren’t at all clear, and what’s more, keep on changing, there now exists a great deal of uncertainty over the future of sports betting sponsorships in the country. And it’s a prevailing sense of confusion both La Liga clubs as well as big-money bookmakers seem to have interpreted as being as a good a reason as any to simply “carry on regardless”.

Possible Ramifications

Part of Garzon’s proposal allegedly seeks to outlaw even the use of a name or trade name of a betting operator for the purpose of identifying a sports or entertainment facility. Such a provision, if passed, will have a hugely negative effect on those gambling firms who have inked naming rights partnerships alongside La Liga franchises.

La Liga, which is the country’s top soccer flight, has in the meantime expressed its own concerns over the proposed October restrictions, saying that such a motion could potentially financially cripple several of its clubs. Only three of a total of 20 top league La Liga clubs (this not even mentioning several “smaller” La Liga franchises) currently do not rely on sports betting sponsorships in order to survive. They are Real Valladolid, Villareal, and Real Sociedad.

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