As memories of England’s World Cup journey fades, the Premier League is back – once again providing betting brands with untold opportunities to appeal to potential punters.
However, the level, and involvement of betting brands in premier league sponsorship has become a controversial subject in recent weeks.
Critics have pointed to the fact that this season, 9 out of 20 Premier League clubs will have their strips emblazoned by the logo of betting brands. In the Championship - which itself is sponsored by SkyBet – there are 17 teams that have gambling companies on their shirts. Some have highlighted the number of children that watch the sport, and hinted at the impact that this advertising could have on that age group.
Times have certainly changed. Around 20 years ago, teams were often associated with UK and international electronics companies, and prior to that alcohol brands – think of Newcastle Brown Ale with Newcastle United, and Carlsberg with Liverpool – were more common.
The simple truth of the matter is that this advertising is effective, and it is speaking to an audience that is generally more receptive to it. Of course, technology such as in-play betting has only accelerated the growth of this market, so much so that football and betting are in many ways intertwined. What’s more, the Premier League’s global reach means that the companies don’t necessarily have to have great brand recognition in the UK.
As you may expect, YouGov Profiles data confirms that online bettors are far more likely than the average person to watch Sky Super Sunday,Match of the Day and Live EFL football. On the social side, they’re also much more inclined to follow the Premier League on Facebook and Twitter.
Our data shows that there are fans of certain teams that are a little more likely to be online betting customers. Intriguingly, Sunderland supporters are one of the teams whose supporters are most likely to gamble online, our data indicates that close to 29% did so over the last 12 months. The team is now in League 1 and sponsored by Betdaq, having previously been associated with Dafabet.
At the moment, there seems to be no reason to suspect that betting brands will drop away from shirt sponsorship. A history of premier league sponsorship suggests that one industry dominates before another takes its place – but with such a captive audience at gambling brands’ fingertips in an extremely lucrative industry, why would they invest elsewhere?
Which brands have managed to attract attention?
Of course, with so many brands in such a crowded market place, differentiation is hard to achieve. However, once again Paddy Power has managed to separate itself from the pack. At Brighton Pride, it had a bus – titled ‘Official Bus of Gay Professional Footballers’ – which had no one on board, underlining the fact there are no current openly gay footballers in England. This was supported by a social media campaign.
As with many of the bookmaker’s marketing efforts, it has been criticised in some quarters, notably by charity Stonewall. However, YouGov’s BrandIndex data points to where the brand has made improvements in its consumer perception ratings.
Paddy Power’s Buzz score (have you heard something about the brand in the past fortnight, and was it positive or negative?) has jumped among those who know the brand, rising from +9 to +15.
Among those aware of the brand, Paddy Power’s Impression score has grown significantly over the last couple of weeks, moving from -29 to -22, a jump of 7 points. Similarly, among those that would consider placing a bet with Paddy Power, its score has risen from +47 to +52. In short, it’s another example of Paddy Power’s marketing power.