Date: 14.06.2024

by Adam Dworak

Crystal Palace and Wolves Secure Major Shirt Sponsorship Deals with Gambling Operators

Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers have become the latest English Premier League football clubs to enter into shirt sponsorship deals with gambling operators.

Record Deals for Crystal Palace and Wolves

Crystal Palace will feature Asian operator Net88 on the front of its shirt for the 2024-25 Premier League season. Meanwhile, Wolves will collaborate with Southeast Asian gambling brand DEBET as their sponsor for the next two seasons.

According to Crystal Palace, the deal with Net88 represents a record for the club. Net88 will become a principal club partner, with its logo also set to feature on training wear, the official club website, and around the team’s Selhurst Park stadium.

“We’re pleased to announce this principal partnership ahead of the upcoming Premier League campaign as we build upon the excellent form of the men’s team at the end of last season,” Palace chief commercial officer Barry Webber said.

A Net88 spokesperson added: “Everyone at Net88 is excited to work with Crystal Palace after a fantastic end to last season. We are delighted to join a club that is moving forward with their great young talent.”

Similarly, Wolves’ two-year agreement with DEBET will come into effect from the 2024-25 season. DEBET branding will feature on the team’s playing shirt and official club training wear.

DEBET and Wolves

Founded in 2019, DEBET offers a range of sports betting and casino products in Southeast Asia. Wolves, owned by the Fosun Group, a conglomerate headquartered in Shanghai, China, said this deal is also a record partnership for the club.

“Since our discussions began, we’ve been impressed with their professional approach and their appointment of knowledgeable individuals, who will be dedicated to making sure this partnership is a success,” Wolves’ general manager for marketing and commercial growth, Russell Jones, said.

DEBET spokesperson Alan Alger added: “Wolves is a prestigious club and everyone at DEBET is proud to be part of the biggest principal partner deal the club has ever signed.”

Premier League’s Future Ban on Gambling Sponsorship

These deals come despite Premier League football clubs collectively agreeing last April to halt gambling sponsorship on the front of matchday shirts. This ban will not come into effect until the 2025-26 season. Deals agreed upon before this deadline are permitted, as long as they conclude ahead of the 2025-26 campaign.

Since the announcement last spring, several clubs have secured new deals with gambling and betting brands. Recently, Aston Villa has partnered with Betano for the next two seasons. Other Premier League clubs with similar deals include Brentford with Hollywood Bet and Everton with Stake.

William Hill Sponsors Scottish Professional Football League

North of the border, the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) has announced a title sponsorship deal with William Hill. The agreement, starting from the 2024-25 season, will run for five years. William Hill will become the title sponsor of all four SPFL divisions – Premiership, Championship, League 1, and League 2 – and the official betting partner of the SPFL.

The recent sponsorship deals between Premier League clubs and gambling operators highlight the ongoing financial reliance on the gambling industry within professional sports. These partnerships, although lucrative, come at a time when there is increasing scrutiny and regulation of gambling advertising in sports.

As the Premier League’s ban on front-of-shirt gambling sponsorships looms, clubs are making the most of the remaining time to secure significant financial deals.