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Nottingham Forest agree shirt sponsorship deal with betting brand Kaiyun

Reds are fourth Premier League team to sign main partnership with a gambling firm since looming ban was announced.

31 August 2023 Sam Carp

Getty Images

Premier League side Nottingham Forest have ended their search for a main shirt sponsor by partnering with Asian betting company Kaiyun Sports. 


  • Two-year deal started with Forest’s 1-0 home defeat to Burnley in the Carabao Cup
  • Kaiyun is already the sleeve sponsor of both Aston Villa and Crystal Palace


Nottingham Forest are the fourth Premier League club to announce a deal with a betting company since English soccer’s top flight announced that its teams will no longer have front-of-shirt partnerships with gambling brands from the start of the 2026/27 season.

The Reds went without a shirt sponsor for their Premier League return last season amid reports that they had not received an offer that met their asking price for the inventory. In December, they donated the space on the front of their playing kits to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, for the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign.

However, Forest’s decision to partner with a betting brand has already attracted a negative response on social media, where users noted that the club’s press release referred to Kaiyun as a ‘digital sports platform’ but failed to mention the words ‘betting’ or ‘gambling’.

Given that the promotional imagery has featured Kaiyun’s logo in Mandarin, there may also be concerns that the company is using the partnership to promote betting to audiences in China, where gambling firms are illegal.

Kaiyun has limited operations outside of Asia and its UK website is currently under construction. However, it is able to access the market via a ‘white-label’ agreement with another firm, which in this case is Isle of Man-based TGP Europe.


Byrne Howard, chief marketing officer of Kaiyun Sports, said: “The collaboration with Nottingham Forest Football Club will be a milestone for us to step onto the global stage.”

Coming next: 

Forest said they will provide information for fans who have already purchased shirts for the 2023/24 season but want to have the team’s new sponsor applied retrospectively. However, it will be interesting to watch what response – if any – the club gives to the negative reaction that has greeted the partnership so far.

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