2024 kicked off in a major way for the Brazilian gambling market, as President Lula signed a federal bill that will enable online sports betting in the country. 

This bill immediately made a huge impact on the country’s most beloved sport of football, with clubs in Brazil now able to maximise sponsorship opportunities by working with domestic and international operators to enhance revenues. 

Pedro Melo, Chief Commercial Officer at Clube Atlético Mineiro, spoke to Insider Sport on the significance the legislative approval has had on the club and what it means for future commercial ventures. 

Firstly Pedro, could you give us some insight into your immediate thoughts when the online gambling regulation was passed? 

Melo: The regulation of gambling is a watershed moment for the Brazilian market. Without a doubt, a lot will change both for companies operating in the market and for bettors. Regulation is extremely important so that the rules are followed and everyone involved in this market has the peace of mind to act.

The bill will no doubt play a huge role for football sponsorship in Brazil. How different will your approach be now in negotiating with betting operators?

Melo: In relation to sponsorships, the regulation will bring much more security to the entities that receive sponsorships. Large companies in the sector will be able, within the regulations, to sponsor clubs and entities with more legal security.

As a speaker at the SBC Summit Rio event in March, your panel focuses on localised marketing approaches. How does localisation differ in Brazil for betting sponsorships and why is it so crucial for the club to get this right? 

Melo: The sponsorship market in Brazil changed its level after contributions from bookmakers. 

It is a very positive movement for those who receive the sponsorship, as these are values ​​that had never been practised in Brazil. Support like this helps many clubs and entities with good administration to make investments that help to improve the sport as a whole.

Pedro, how has the club’s ownership transition last year enabled you to find the best commercial and sponsorship opportunities?

Melo: Atlético became a SAF in July 2023, and so today we are a company with shareholders. Every large betting company seeks out the best players and is also sought after by the best players, for the marketing, sponsorship and engagement opportunities these partnerships pose. 

This factor, together with the regulation of betting, certainly further increases our credibility in the market to receive support from large companies in the sector.

Are there any commercial or sponsorship trends or deals happening in Europe that you are keen to introduce to the Brazilian market?

Melo: In our case here at Atlético, we have had a sponsorship with Betano since 2020, a giant in the sector that operates very strongly in Europe.

We follow the company’s global sponsorship format, which is important to us as we work with the same ideal that the brand has in clubs like FC Porto, Sporting Lisbon and SL Benfica, for example.

Lastly Pedro, and thank you for your time, the club was finally recognised for its 1937 triumph as Brazil’s first club champions last year. How important is it to draw on the club’s history as one of Brazil’s oldest and biggest clubs when it comes to commercial growth? 

Melo: Atlético has a huge and beautiful history in Brazilian and world football, and the 1937 title only magnifies this fact. Clubs with great stories and great management are undoubtedly a great asset for companies to associate their brands with.

Pedro Melo, along with many other Brazilian sports and betting stakeholders, will be speaking at the SBC Summit Rio from March 5-7, 2024. Purchase your Early Bird ticket at the discounted price of R$2000 and gain access to all three days of the event, including the exhibition, the conference, and exclusive networking parties. 

You can keep up-to-date with the latest news, speakers & exhibitor additions and conference content by subscribing to the bi-weekly SBC Summit Rio LinkedIn newsletter.

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