English Football Clubs Continue to Embrace Betting With New Shirt Deals

English football and the betting have strengthened their bonds ahead of the 2018/2019 season, despite the FA severing its ties with the industry in 2017.

Bristol City Dunder.

Huddersfield Town will once again have the OPE Sports logo on its shirts. (Image: htafc.com)

As football fans get ready for the World Cup in Russia, two English clubs have announced sponsorship deals with betting brands. In a continuation of its multi-year partnership with OPE Sports, Huddersfield Town’s 2018/2019 kit will now show the betting site’s new logo.

Huddersfield Taking Advantage of Its Premier Position

With a draw at Chelsea in the final throes of the 2017/2018 season, David Wagner’s side will once be visible on a world stage as a Premier League club.

OPE Sports will be hoping to benefit from this exposure and, in turn, create some interesting for fans. As well as lending its branding to the team’s shirts, the operator will be funding various fan-related activities and providing bespoke content for Huddersfield’s official online channel #HTTV.

At the same time Huddersfield Town announced its OPE Sports deal, Championship side Bristol City revealed that Swedish casino site Dunder is now its official partner. Following the team’s Carabao Cup run during the 2017/2018 season, Dunder’s marketing team was keen to join the party.

“After meeting the club and seeing first-hand how the team played against Manchester United and Manchester City in the cup, it felt a great fit to our company ethos in doing things the right way. This along with the strong sense of community involvement and passion, really stood out from the start,” Adam Webber, Dunder’s head of acquisition said in a June 4 press release.

Contrasting Attitudes to Football and Betting

While the recent partnerships are likely to prove positive for the clubs concerned, they sit in contrast with the FA’s attitude towards the betting industry. Following a three-month review in 2017, the FA decided it could no longer work with betting companies while banning players from making wagers.

Despite ending its partnership with Ladbrokes and vowing not to work with other operators in the future, football clubs can still work with any brands they want. For some, these links between football and betting is a problem.

In 2017, deputy Labour leader Tom Watson said the clubs should be more aware of their ability to influence people.

“Football has to play its part in tackling Britain’s hidden epidemic of gambling addiction,” the MP told The Guardian in 2017.

At this stage, the current government doesn’t have any plans to tighten up the rules surrounding sponsorship deals between football teams and operators. However, if Labour can get into power, things may change in the coming years.

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