Bristol Rovers Follow City’s Lead and Partner with Betting Firm  

Bristol Rovers and Mintbet have announced a new deal that will see the latter’s logo emblazoned on the back of the first team’s shirts throughout the 2018/2019 season.

Bristol Rovers kit.

Mintbet’s logo will now feature on the back of the recently released Bristol Rovers kit. (Image: Bristol Rovers)

The July 20 announcement coincided with the launch of Rover’s new home and away strips, which will also feature the branding of Football Index and kit manufacturer Macron.

An Online/Offline Relationship

For Mintbet, the association with the League One club is its first foray into the football industry since its launched in 2017. As well as having its logo on the back of Bristol Rovers’ shirts, Mintbet will be looking to host a series of connected promotions in the coming months.

“We hope this is the start of a great working relationship together between Mintbet and Bristol Rovers and we wish the club every success for the upcoming season. We aim to engage with the large fan base and community surrounding the club,” Owen Lyle, Marketing Director for Mintbet, said in an official press release.

Football’s relationship with the betting world has been a tumultuous one in recent years. In June, Rovers’ local rivals, Bristol City announced Dunder as its official betting partner at the same time OPE Sports and Huddersfield Town agreed a sponsorship deal.

However, a conflict of interest caused the Football Association (FA) to cut its ties with the industry in 2017. Following a string of incidents in which footballers broke the governing body’s rules against betting on matches, the FA decided to end its relationship with Ladbrokes.

Football’s Conflicting Interests 

In light of the FA’s decision, a study by the University of Glasgow showed that the betting industry now controls the sponsorship market. Reviewing 79 football deals made between 2005 and 2018, researchers found that 75 involved casino, poker or bookmaking sites.

Responding to the report, Dr Chris Dunn from the University of Glasgow said the statistics are a cause for concern.

“The intensification of the relationship between football and gambling advertising is highly likely to contribute to the normalisation of gambling, or what some have called the gamblification of sports,” Dunn stated in the recent report.

For football teams, the influx of money from the betting industry has become crucial in recent years. With funds hard to come by outside of the Premier League, attracting investors from all industries has become a standard play for many smaller clubs.

For Bristol Rovers fans, the new kit is a mixed bag. Although some have complimented the design, others have tweeted that it’s too white and they don’t know who the sponsors are.

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