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Study: Premier League fans more engaged with non-gambling brands on social media

Betting companies not a major driver for providing digital value to top-flight teams, according to Horizm.

11 May 2023 Ed Dixon

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  • Apparel sector delivers greatest amount of digital value for clubs
  • Insurance and financial services, as well as software, perform well
  • Gambling partnerships “do not represent value from a digital perspective”

Premier League fans are less likely to engage with digital content shared by clubs that is sponsored by betting brands compared to posts involving companies from certain other sectors, according to data from Horizm.

Gambling firms have deals covering teams across English soccer’s top flight, with eight sides – Bournemouth, Brentford, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Southampton and West Ham United – having betting brands in place as their main sponsor.

Those arrangements ensure gambling companies get extensive promotion across club’s digital platforms. However, sports data and insights agency Horizm found that the apparel sector is leading the way in terms of the greatest amount of digital value for Premier League teams. Looking at the clubs with betting brands as shirt sponsors over the last 12 months, Leeds’ sponsorship with Adidas generated €55,684 (US$60,867) in total digital value based on factors such as engagement and impressions. Everton’s tie-up with Hummel generated €45,545 (US$49,784).

Horzim added that partnerships in the entertainment and media industry with EA Sports are providing clubs like Newcastle United and Fulham a significant amount of digital value. 

Following their pact with ecommerce platform Noon, which Horizm says had a digital value of €225,421 (US$246,399), Newcastle’s sponsorship with video game giant EA Sports ranked second in terms of the Magpies’ most lucrative digital partnership with an overall valuation of €118,981 (US$130,054).

Similarly, agreements with EA Sports led to Fulham’s greatest overall social media engagements with 475,086 impressions, generating €36,924 (US$40,360) in value. 

Insurance and financial services, as well as software, also performed well for Bournemouth and Brentford following their sponsorships with Vitality and BlueJeans Network. The two companies produced the clubs a total digital value of €33,170 (US$36,257) and €32,353 (US$35,364) in the past year.

In contrast, Bournemouth’s sponsorship with Dafabet generated €5,763 (US$6,299) in total digital value, according to Horizm. Brentford acquired €1,915 (US$2,093) in total value from their partnership with Hollywoodbets and Leeds gained €1,203 (US$1,315) from their agreement with SBOTOP. Southampton and Everton earned value of just €708 (US$774) and €197 (US$215) from their deals with Sportsbet.io and Stake.com, respectively.

Horizm’s analysis follows the decision from Premier League clubs to withdraw gambling sponsorship from the front of matchday shirts from the end of the 2025/26 season.

“It is clear that whilst the gambling industry may provide significant monetary value to clubs, those brand partnerships do not represent value from a digital perspective,” said Luis Viveiros, chief operating officer of Horizm.

“Our data highlights that fans of Premier League clubs engage more with brand partnership posts from sectors including apparel, travel and ecommerce ahead of gambling. These partnerships also offer greater financial value digitally for both clubs and brands. 

“The change in sponsorship ruling, provides clubs, brands and partners with a strong opportunity to explore new digital activations with brands operating in the sectors above. The landscape of the industry is set to change once the ban comes into effect and we are interested to see how untapped brands and sectors may come to the forefront of the digital landscape.”

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