“Mini-Comeback”” for Front-of-Shirt Gambling Sponsorship Deals

Those campaigning about Front-of-Shirt (FoS) gambling-related sponsorship won’t be pleased with some new data that’s just been released. The research carried out by Caytoo shows a “mini-comeback” in such deals.

This comes at a time when the UK government is preparing to finally release their White Paper on gambling law reform. That should be released soon after the new Prime Minister is chosen on September 5.

FoS betting sponsorship deals are under review by the government but it seems only the Premier League is being looked at. The word is the Tories would prefer a voluntary agreement by the 20 members of the Premier League to end such deals.

A decision on a voluntary ban is likely soon but the Caytoo research shows that the top league in English football was third in terms of FoS deals among 2226 football, rugby and cricket teams in England.

Front-of-shirt (FoS) betting sponsorships have made a “mini-comeback” after a drop off last year, according to new research from Caytoo.

Despite the Premier League contemplating a ban, gambling saw the third-highest rise in FoS deals across England’s 226 professional football, cricket and rugby teams. 9.2% of sponsors are from the betting industry. That’s just behind 10.5% for the automotive industry but ahead of retail on 8.8%.

However, when it came to football FoS sponsors, it’s gambling companies that top the table with 15.4%.

This season has already seen Everton, Bournemouth and Fulham sign gambling-related FoS deals. The only side to end a deal has been Crystal Palace. With those deals in place, will the Premier League clubs vote for a voluntary ban?

The Head of Research and Analysis at Caytoo is Alex Burmaster. He noted that the gambling industry share of sponsorships had “nearly halved from 2019 to 2021.” However, now there seems to be “a notable return to favour for gambling.”

He added that the same has also been happening in both rugby and cricket. In cricket for example, anyone watching a Sussex match at Hove will see Dafabet on the playing field. Mr. Burmaster said: “So, the big questions are: will the Premier League voluntary ban happen and, if so, will other divisions or sports such as rugby and cricket follow suit?”

Even if the Premier League did agree to a voluntary ban, it would be some time before there were no FoS gambling-related deals. There is talk that the Premier League clubs would want sleeve sponsorship to continue. Also, existing deals would be allowed to run their course. For those campaigning against such sponsorship, they will also want to see the government target other football leagues, including the Sky Bet sponsored EFL.