With 95% of Brazil’s Série A clubs currently sponsored by betting companies, the league carries a huge following and is building on opportunities for more long-term sponsorship arrangements.
Insider Sport spoke to Bernardo Pontes, Partner at BP Sports – a company which last month acted as the intermediary in a partnership between Betcris and Brazilian top flight teams, Ceará and Fortaleza – about the ‘underestimated’ market value that the country holds for international firms.
Insider Sport – How can betting firms build lasting partnerships with such clubs?
Bernardo Pontes – The trend is for contracts made by sports betting companies to be signed for medium to long-term periods. It’s not easy to find good opportunities anymore, so when you do, the bonds won’t be short-term.
IS – With so many firms partnered with clubs, is there still room for new betting companies to reach the Brazilian sports market?
BP – The betting market is at an interesting stage. With the regulatory process about to come out in Brasília, companies are already moving to guarantee their spaces. After all, the investment power of large foreign companies will increase exponentially. For this reason, we already live today with a shortage of opportunities, because most of the properties are already sold, not only in clubs, but in championships, digital influencers…
If we compare with other markets where the betting segment has been operating with regulation for a long time, it is possible to see that there is a greater number of global companies operating. Therefore, I have the perception that the game has not yet started here in Brazil.
IS – How will Ceará’s and Fortaleza’s recent partnerships with Betcris be utilised at a pivotal time as the teams prepare for a South American Cup?
BP – We had the opportunity to lead the brand’s sponsorship strategy with these traditional Brazilian football clubs. With that, we mapped and presented to Betcris that both Fortaleza and Ceará are going through sports and management phases, which give us the certainty of good investments.
The fans of both teams are making a difference on and off the field and the activations we have already carried out show that.
IS – Brazil is obviously a huge market for football with a massive following. Is the sponsorship value of this somewhat underestimated by international companies?
BP – I am convinced that yes. The Brazilian sports market is still going to grow a lot, on several business fronts. The SAFs will boost the clubs and, with that, we will have more investments, more idols, more fan engagement. Thinking optimistically, the creation of a new League can structure our main product in commercial terms.
In addition to these factors, there is still the devaluation of our currency. Therefore, for the foreign market, it is very cheap to invest in Brazilian football.
IS – What criteria does BP Sports consider when creating marketing activations for football clubs and their sponsors?
BP – I often say and guide my team that our focus has to be on the problem. Every client has a pain that needs to be addressed. And that’s where we come in. Our experience of more than 10 years in this brand/club relationship allows us to understand precisely what works and what doesn’t. And so, we created the perfect solution to that client’s pain.
IS – What care should clubs take when signing contracts with betting companies? For example, with regards to promotion of responsible gambling in their marketing campaigns.
BP – At the present time, many adventurous companies have emerged, so the greatest care should be in doing a “background check” analysis. That is, to identify the ability of that company to comply with everything that is being proposed. Check the brand’s recent history, partnerships already closed, who the partners are, origin of the money, etc, to prevent both the club and its fans from having their expectations frustrated.
IS – Likewise, are there any factors international betting firms should consider when entering the Brazilian sports space?
BP – Working in the Brazilian market is not simple. Before thinking about “landing” here, it is essential to carry out a careful tax, accounting and tax analysis to understand the complexity of operating in Brazil.