A third of footy fans wouldn't buy a kit with a gambling sponsor

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
Football and gambling sponsorship

Football is the most popular sport in the world, which makes it a huge worldwide industry generating millions ever year from ticket sales, advertising, sponsorships and revenue. A big seller every year for fans is the latest football kits.

Supporters often buy the new kit with every season to show support for their favourite teams, donning them down the pub and watching the big matches. But when you wear a replica shirt, not only are you showing your support for the team and player, but you're also wearing the logo of team sponsors too. Would the sponsor on a shirt affect your decision? 

A new study commissioned by the campaign group Clean Up Gambling shows that one third of football fans are averse to buying their favourite team’s kit when it sports gambling operator logos by way of sponsorship. The study also shows widespread support amongst the sport’s fans to cut ties with the gambling industry altogether. 

Currently, 26 of the 44 top teams in English football have a gambling company logo on their chest, with the competition for advertising space ever growing between top online casinos and gambling operators, as they vie for increased presence and visibility during games, which are broadcast to billions of people on a global scale. 

While there is growing distaste towards the industry’s expanding presence within football, the Betting and Gambling Council (BGC) defends the gambling industry's place within the sport. A spokesperson for the BGC said : “While betting helps to provide sports such as football with funding, it also enables TV channels to broadcast more sport than would otherwise be possible and plays a vital role in differentiating legally licensed operators from those in the black market who have none of the safety protections in place with UK operators.”

The poll of football fans revealed that almost half supported a full ban on the display of gambling company logos on football club shirts, a measure proposed by Tom Watson, a former deputy leader of the Labour Party who has since taken up work with Flutter Entertainment, the world's largest online gambling operator. 

The BGC, led by former Labour Party MP Michael Dugher, commented that already, the implementation of the so-called “whistle-to-whistle” ban on gambling adverts during televised sports events before the 9pm watershed had reduced advertisements during those hours by 97%.

But still, two-thirds of sports fans feel measures have not been productive enough and that the overall level of advertising from gambling operators remains too high. 

The BGC responded by saying it has introduced tougher measures to prevent minors being reached by gambling promotional materials, after gambling operators were found advertising to children online, and that 20% of TV and radio advertisements must now be safer gambling messages. 

“The BGC is determined to drive up standards across the betting and gaming industry and looks forward to working with the government on its forthcoming gambling review to do just that.”

What about you, does gambling sponsorship put you off getting a piece of kit from your favourite team? Let us know over on our twitter or facebook page!