One in 11 front of shirt sponsorship deals in English sports are currently with betting firms, according to a study of 225 clubs by sponsorship intelligence firm Caytoo.
- Gambling brands account for 15.4 per cent of main sponsorship deals in soccer, the most of any category
- This falls to 4.9 per cent in cricket and just 0.03 per cent in rugby
- Companies in the industrial category – such as construction or engineering firms – are the best represented overall sector for front of shirt sponsorships, with a 14.5 per cent share
- Travel and hospitality sectors saw the biggest increase in sponsorship deals over the last year
- Automotive sector saw the biggest drop in the number of front of shirt agreements over the same period
Gambling companies, as a sub-sector of the consumer services category, saw its total number of deals fall by just one during the period studied by Caytoo. This is despite the Premier League’s impending ban on such deals, which comes into place at the end of the 2025/26 season. Numerous clubs in English soccer’s top flight – including Aston Villa, Burnley and Fulham – are signed up betting companies as their primary kit sponsor for the upcoming campaign.
“The ban on front of shirt gambling sponsorships, which comes into effect in three years, plus the increasing outcry from fan groups on such deals has had almost no impact over the last year,” said Alex Burmaster, Caytoo’s head of research and analysis.
“Over a third of Premier League teams still have a front of shirt gambling sponsor, only one fewer than a year ago. This shows that the economic realities and fierce competition in football trump other considerations and the clubs will need to keep taking keep taking gambling’s money until they’re no longer legally allowed to.”
If there is a trend to read from Caytoo’s report, it is that the impending ban will impact the consumer services category’s overall share of the front of shirt sponsor market, with gambling currently the biggest pillar in propping that up.