Every sporting team is always after the world’s best athletes and backroom teams to make their team as competitive and as successful as they can be. But none of this comes cheap, so every sports team has to sign deals with sponsors to help pay for all of this. The only problem is their sponsors want an increasing amount in return. Nowadays sponsors don’t just want their brand on their shirts, as many want their athletes to appear in their adverts, all over their social media and sometimes even want stadiums named after each other. But is all this sponsorship enhancing or ruining sport?
When it comes to choosing a sponsor, the vast majority of the time a team will pick whoever bids the highest amount of money. This can lead to some teams choosing sponsors that fans or players might not agree with. One prime example of this is Newcastle United’s shirt sponsor Wonga, which is a controversial loan service in the UK. The sponsor was so controversial that one of their star players Papiss Cisse refused to wear any kit with their brand on due to religious beliefs. The team has also been forced to remove the sponsor from the child sized kits they sell to their younger fans.
One of the industries that buy the most space on sport teams shirts and stadiums is the betting industry. It’s rare to watch a football match in the Premier League without seeing a betting brand somewhere, or even attending a horse racing meeting where one of the races isn’t named after a betting brand. The deals struck between betting websites and teams make a lot of sense, as betting websites make the vast majority of their money from betting on live sporting events.
Whilst getting these brands into people’s homes might seem a good idea, many people get frustrated by the constant barrage of sponsorship and it in fact works against the brand. A number of people watching sports will intentionally avoid some bookmakers because of the frustration this sponsorship causes. Some online sites have learnt this and avoid sponsorship for that very reason. Sites like Lucky Nugget Casino focus on creating the best gaming experience they can and using word of mouth from their fans to promote themselves. The strategy seems to be working perfectly as Lucky Nugget Casino is well known as New Zealand’s specialist online casino with promotions that keep people coming back time and time again.
But while these sponsors can frustrate and even often offend fans, they are a necessary evil to make ends meet at big sport clubs. In sports like Formula One, more and more teams are being forced to leave the sport because they can’t get enough sponsorship to pay the costs of running a team. Often the relationship between sponsor and team can in fact be more toxic for the brand, which is why some businesses like Lucky Nugget Casino would rather focus on letting the quality of the service speak for itself. But for many sponsoring a team will make them millions, and as long as a lot of that money is going towards making the sport as competitive as possible then it’s something that fans should be grateful for.