Date: 20.06.2024

by Adam Dworak

The new sponsorship deal of Crystal Palace has come under scrutiny

The new sponsorship deal between Crystal Palace FC and NET88 has come under scrutiny. The Vietnamese gambling firm was relatively unknown until becoming a principal partner of the Premier League club last week in what was described as a “record” two-year deal.

NET88’s Entrance into the UK Market

NET88, an Asian betting company, has only just launched a website in the UK and created an official account on X, formerly known as Twitter, last week. This sudden rise in prominence has raised questions and eyebrows within the industry and among the fans.

Crystal Palace’s announcement stated: “Net88 is a global online gaming platform for sports and gaming fans alike, and we’re looking forward to working with them at this exciting time.”

Sponsorship Details

The collaboration between Crystal Palace and NET88 is notable for several reasons. Primarily, the betting brand will become the front-of-shirt sponsor of Palace’s training kits. This kind of visibility is significant, given the broad audience that follows Premier League training sessions and matches.

A NET88 spokesperson briefly added at the time of the announcement: “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. We are proud to be the club’s front-of-shirt sponsor and aim to build a successful relationship with the team and fans.”

Comparisons and Industry Trends

Crystal Palace’s deal shortly followed Wolves announcing a similar “record deal” for Debet to become its official shirt sponsor – another unfamiliar Vietnamese gambling firm to the UK audience. This trend suggests a growing interest from Asian gambling firms in the Premier League’s global reach and marketing power.

Premier League clubs have collectively agreed to end shirt gambling sponsorship at the end of the 2025-26 season. However, clubs are allowed to secure new deals until that deadline, with gambling firms able to agree on sleeve sponsorship deals once the ban comes into effect. This has led to a rush of last-minute deals as clubs look to secure lucrative sponsorships before the deadline.

For Crystal Palace, this deal with NET88 could provide a significant financial boost. The term “record deal” implies a substantial investment from NET88, which could be used to improve club facilities, invest in new players, or support community initiatives.

However, the partnership also brings risks, especially if NET88 fails to establish a solid presence in the UK market or if public sentiment turns against gambling sponsorships.