Aston Villa

Aston Villa has switched BK8 for Greek multinational operator Betano, as the club’s front-of-shirt partner, according to a report by The Telegraph.

It was reported that the Athens-based sportsbook, owned by gambling group Kaizen Gaming, will pay £20m a season for visibility on the front of Villa’s new Adidas shirts.

This is a significant markup on the club’s pre-existing deal with Chinese gaming firm BK8, in place since June 2022. The Telegraph reports that the £40m total sum to be paid by Betano in the two-year deal will be around double that of what BK8 has been paying.

Gaining exposure in the Premier League makes a lot of sense for Betano, as the Greek firm has been building up a substantial portfolio in football over recent years. In 2022 it became the first ever betting partner of the FIFA World Cup.

This sponsorship has been followed by deals with the UEFA EUropean Championship 2024 and this year’s CONMEBOL Copa America. These are two significant tournaments for the firm, building up and expanding its brand exposure in the established markets of EUrope and the emerging betting sectors of Latin America.

Meanwhile, as the most valuable and widely viewed football league in the world the Premier League is an ideal next step for Betano to secure even greater global visibility, as well as more brand awareness in the competitive British betting market.

According to the latest UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) figures the British betting and gaming industry generated gross gambling yield (GGY) of £15.1bn as of February 2023.

Building up a brand presence in this high value market is a key objective for many firms, and signing sponsorship deals such as Betano’s with Villa in a country with a huge sports following is an ideal way to achieve this.

For Betano, the deal comes at a time of improved performance and success for Villa. The Birmingham club is fourth in the league table (as of 25 March) and if the club maintains this position will compete in the Champions League for the 2024/25 season. 

Meanwhile, the deal also comes at a significant time for English football from a commercial perspective, for two different reasons. Firstly, it has been signed within the context of new focus on financial fair play (FFP) regulations and profit and sustainability rules (PSR).

Failure to adhere to the latter has seen Everton and Nottingham Forest handed points deduction of six and four respectively. Generating more money from commercial revenue via its new kit deal with Adidas and sponsorship deal with Betano will help Villa avoid the same.

Secondly, the deal comes two years ahead of a voluntary ban on front-of-shirt betting sponsorships by Premier League clubs. From the 2026/27 season, betting sponsors will be relegated from front-of-shirt positions in jerseys to the shirt sleeves.

Betting sponsorships have been a high value source of commercial revenue for UK football clubs for some time, with around half of all Premier League clubs at one point having some form of betting partner.

With this betting revenue due to drop in 2026, Villa may be seeking to maximise income from this lucrative sector by switching up partners for the remaining two years it has left to pursue front-of-shirt deals.

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