Gambling sponsorship in sport has fallen sharply ahead of a possible ban, a new report has found. The number of betting companies sponsoring sports teams in England has almost halved since 2019, according to the study by consultancy Caytoo.
Gambling’s share of the market has dropped from 15.3% to 8.1% and has been overtaken by construction and engineering (11.2), automotive (9.4), and financial services (8.5).
The biggest decline in terms of gambling sponsorship was recorded in football, which fell from 32.7% to 15.2%. Gambling is, however, still the most prevalent sector within football. Financial services firms have the biggest share of deals in rugby, while the automotive and construction and engineering sectors are leading the way in cricket.
The study comes as the UK government considers whether to introduce stricter regulations around betting sponsorship in sport as part of a broader review of the 2005 Gambling Act.
In October 22020, the Spanish government has told La Liga clubs to cut ties with Sports betting operators by September 2021. Most La Liga clubs are associated with betting companies in one way or the other.
Commenting on the findings of the study, Alex Burmaster, Caytoo’s head of research and analysis, said, “This change has been driven by the greater demand from society for professional sports to be more socially responsible when it comes to their fans and communities. In addition to gambling’s drop, alcohol has seen the second-biggest reduction in prevalence while environmental services and healthcare are among those with the biggest increases.”
The sectors that saw the most rise in the number of main sponsorships were IT services, automotive, and telecoms. Six of the eight new deals with IT firms came from women’s teams, noted by the study.
The most prevalent main sponsors are car manufacturer Kia, the Emirates airline, and energy company Utilita. Utilita and online car retailer Cazoo, which partnered with Aston Villa and Everton last year, have seen the most rise in team sponsorships since 2019.
This marks the beginning of a new trend in the world of sponsorship. It is believed that people are a lot more aware of their consumption and want their favourite team to reflect that in every way possible. This can also be linked not to betting companies and Alcohol but also unhealthy foods. Players’ fiasco at the most recent Euros with Coca-Cola, and the Hundred’s controversial sponsorship deal with KP snacks despite backlash has raised new questions of how teams should approach sponsorship altogether.