Real Madrid has suspended its partnership with Russian betting firm Fonbet with immediate effect, in showing retaliation for the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The La Liga side first inked a collaboration with the operator in January 2021, which involved an array of ‘unique promotions’ for its customers. The announcement means that Fonbet will no longer provide prize draws, bonuses, enhanced odds, ‘extended action line on the Royal Club games’ or events on social media.
Additionally, both Ligue 1’s PSG and Serie A’s AC Milan have also cut ties with the Russian brand as the sport continues to show support for Ukraine.
As with Madrid, the operator first became the official sports betting partner of AC Milan in Russia and the CIS region in 2021, and the suspension means that the brand will no longer be visible during home games in the league, or the Rossoneri website and mobile app.
PSG also signed a deal with the brand around the same time, as Fonbet helped the team expand its regional following by offering increased odds for matches as well as ‘special promotions’.
However, the club has stated that it is still maintaining its youth academy in Moscow which hosts 500 children this season. The club operates 152 academies in 17 countries, whilst Barcelona, Juventus and Inter Milan have also left their Russian academies open.
The sport continues to punish Russia for the conflict and in recent weeks UEFA ended its partnership with state-run energy company Gazprom.
The governing body of European football terminated the deal, which meant the brand was removed from any advertising boards around the stadiums or television promotions across the competition.
The Champions League final has also been moved from St Petersburg in Russia to the Stade de France in Paris, which was previously due to take place at Gazprom Arena on 28 May.
In other sponsorship developments, Real Madrid has also made an announcement that it has formed a new collaboration with Cisco which will become the club’s official technology partner.
The US-based technology scorporation is set to equip the Santiago Bernabéu stadium with a range of its products, such as connectivity and security solutions, a data centre and digital signage.
The club wrote in a statement: “Thanks to a single, converging network designed to offer the very best in security, speed and reliability, Real Madrid will be able to offer its fans, both in the stadium and around the world, innovative experiences, whilst also optimising various operational processes within the stadium, including communications and security.”