One last campaign
English Premier League (EPL) team Newcastle United will contest their 2022/23 soccer campaign with betting sponsor FUN88 in its stable one last time.
ahead of a ban on gambling shirt sponsors
According to inews.co.uk, the Northeast club has agreed on an early exit from its long-term partnership with the Chinese gambling brand. The move comes ahead of a ban on gambling shirt sponsors soon to be implemented by the UK government, according to media reports.
In revealing its new kit via Twitter on Monday, Newcastle confirmed FUN88 will remain the club’s betting sponsor for a final season:
The team is now free to form a new and potentially more lucrative deal. According to inews, reports suggest that the Saudi Arabian-owned Newcastle United will partner commercially with a large firm from the owner’s homeland, such as Saudi Airways or Aramco.
A fresh look for Newcastle
Saudi owners took over Newcastle in October 2021. Since then, the EPL has banned related-party sponsorship deals. Regardless, media reports attest that Newcastle execs back their potential to secure a “big uplift in the next deal they negotiate.”
Newcastle’s owners have affirmed that they intend to increase commercial revenue significantly at the club. As part of this plan, the team is about to ink a deal with the Botswana tourist board for sleeve sponsorship this season, similar to Arsenal and the Rwanda tourist board.
Clubs with substantial financial backing like Newcastle will likely find other non-gambling commercial sponsors to fill the gaps, other less-secure EPL teams might feel the pinch a lot more if the UK government’s white paper does sound the death knell for gambling sponsors as predicted.
Bandwagon gathers momentum
Newcastle’s announcement comes just weeks after Crystal Palace announced their relationship with betting brand W88 was over.
betting firms sponsored seven other EPL clubs
Besides Newcastle and Crystal Palace, betting firms sponsored seven other EPL clubs in the 2021/22 season, including Brentford, Burnley, Leeds United, Southampton, Watford, West Ham United, and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Reportedly, the UK government’s sports betting sponsorship ban is likely to only impact front-of-shirt sponsorships. This means the likes of FUN88 and W88 could still advertise on TV or on pitchside boards. Any implementation of government-backed changes, however, will not happen until 2023 at the earliest.
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