Published on March 12th, 2021 | by Sumit Bhowal0
Sports and Casinos Have Been an Integral Part of Each Other in Recent Years
Watching sports and betting on it goes hand in hand. No wonder that so many professional sports clubs like soccer, American football, ice hockey or basketball are often sponsored by betting companies and casinos. This way the casino gets further recognition and the sports team receives financing to run their expensive operations.
In this article, we are looking into how sports and casinos intertwine. Boross Ors, Hungarian casino expert and sports fan is giving us his insights into the topic. To read more about Ors click here.
Online casino sponsorships
Most online casinos offer hundreds of slot games, card games, roulette, craps as well as sports betting. For many people supporting a sports team and going for their matches means that they will bet on the team as well. Advertising on the football players’ shirt is the best way to reach their fans. Once an avid bettor checks out a new casino, he or she might not only start betting there but from time to time tries their luck with poker or one of the slot machines.
In Hungary, the state-operated betting office, Tippmix has decades of history and often this is the only bookmaker older people will know. However, there are dozens of online casinos that accept Hungarian players. You can find a list of these on the magyar online kaszinó website.
Since football is the most-watched sport in Hungary as well as in the rest of Europe, it makes sense that big European casinos and bookmakers happily sponsor successful football clubs. 17 out of 20 English Premiership clubs have partnered with an online betting partner. Real Madrid, Juventus, Barcelona and Bayern Munich all have casino sponsors.
American football is also often sponsored by online casinos nowadays. The NFL has partnered up with 888sports and before this sponsorship, it had another sponsorship deal with Ceasars Entertainment. Before these partnerships, the NFL was the only major North American sports league without a sports betting sponsor.
Since casino sponsorships have been legal in the US since 2018 other popular sports teams have also come into agreements with casino sponsors. MGM Resorts International are sponsoring the NHL, the NBA and the MLB, so they can reach out to fans of hockey, basketball and baseball. MGM is one of the biggest casino giants in North America and these sponsorships bring in an extraordinary amount of money to the teams. On the other side of the Atlantic, basketball is another favourite of casino sponsors. In the Euroleague 12 out of 18 teams are sponsored by betting operators.
Hungarians’ other big favourite sport to watch is handball. Unibet sponsored the 2020 European Handball Championship. Even though handball fans are traditionally not big on betting, the iGaming giant apparently thought that this agreement is worth their investment.
Apart from official sports team sponsorship, there are other ways to advertise through sports. Brand ambassador marketing is an integral part of casino business. Mixed martial arts legend Connor McGreggor has partnered with Betsafe so the MMA superstar’s fans will now have the obvious choice where to bet on Connor’s fights.
UFC, the largest MMA organizer in the world is officially sponsored by online poker giant PokerStars. PokerStars brand also has its own ambassadors among MMA fighters such as Daniel Cormier, Bruce Buffer and Johnny Walker. The three stars are representing PokerStars and have been involved in events and promotions.
But sponsorships and brand ambassadors aside, direct advertising through TV commercials during a football match or billboards around football stadiums are very common as well. Some sports, such as tennis don’t allow any betting-related advertising but most will happily accept the big bucks casino sponsors are willing to pay for a well-placed ad.
Betting and casino sponsorship has been very prevalent in Europe for several years and for the past few years even the USA has legalized betting sponsorships. Apart from football T-shirts, we can now see well-known casinos’ logos on ice hockey, basketball, American football and baseball players’ clothing. MMA fighters are also teaming up with sponsors and represent them as their ambassadors.