Despite Premier League clubs recently agreeing to withdraw gambling shirt sponsorship on the front of shirts, there has been a plethora of new deals with gambling firms being agreed upon, one being Fulham FC’s partnership with SBOTOP.
Bill Mummery, Celton Manx Limited CEO, outlined how the SBOTOP betting brand’s deal with the Premier League club came about, the exposure the league can bring to the company and addressed any concerns of the impending league-wide ban.
Insider Sport: How significant is the Premier League as a vehicle for reaching the widest possible audience for SBOTOP?
Bill Mummery: Without doubt the global broadcasting of UK Premier League football is an effective vehicle for us to reach our target audience. It delivers some of the most exciting football to a global audience many of whom have a strong affiliation with one or more Premier League clubs.
One only has to look back at how last season played out, (excuse the pun !) it was ‘edge of the seat’ football at its best.
IS: With changes in top-flight sponsorship arrangements due to come into place in 2026, how will SBOTOP’s marketing be adjusted under this new rule?
BM: Like all commercial activities, the landscape will always be subject to change. With challenges comes opportunities. I have no doubt that these will be delivered by working together.
IS: Some operators have been more reserved lately and have opted for sleeve sponsorships despite still being able to pursue front-of-shirt arrangements. Why has SBOTOP bucked the trend and signed a new front-of-shirt deal?
BM: Simply put – because it works. That said it is one component of a marketing mix.
Working together I have no doubt that we will transition successfully post 2026. It’s worth noting that we have never used our brand on any junior team playing kit, nor junior replica kit and have always worked with clubs to act responsibly and in a sustainable manner.
IS: Some campaigners have described the continuation of betting sponsorships as ‘short sighted’, do you have any response to these comments?
BM: Yes. Sports betting is a legitimate leisure product enjoyed globally. The level of due diligence carried out in the process of ‘onboarding’ these relationships and the jurisdictions in which these gambling operators are licensed and regulated provides a strong and safe environment for the consumer.
IS: How can Fulham and other Premier League teams continue to benefit from betting sponsorship deals whilst meeting growing demands for CSR considerations?
BM: I believe that a good number of years ago we were one of the first egambling companies to sponsor in the Premier League.
The reason why these relationships have, and will continue to work well for both stakeholders, is that we have demonstrated a commitment to working responsibly together whilst delivering lasting mutual benefit.
IS: How do you ensure your in-stadia sponsorship presence will meet social responsibility standards?
BM: Like all marketing activities our Premier League sponsorship generates in effect ‘sales enquiries’. It’s how we ‘on board’ and manage those relationships once established that allows us to be effective in providing a safe, secure, environment and relationship with customers. Our engagement with the Premier League is but one ‘channel to market’.
IS: Do you expect the inclusion of Fulham’s pre-season matches, including its games in the Americas, to play a significant role in achieving this?
BM: It’s not at all significant. We have no ‘footprint’ or aspirations towards the US market. That said, it’s good to see Fulham as a club getting the exposure.
IS: Do you anticipate any further football-gambling related rules to change as the Gambling Act White Paper’s proposals are implemented?
BM: Good regulation implies change and is dynamic. To achieve this, it needs to be based upon sound principles, knowledge and experience shared and a recognition that we share common goals.