Italian Serie A League teams are turning to betting companies for sponsorship, as the clubs that are not as popular struggle to get and keep the interest of big-name brands.
There about 10 online gambling companies that are currently sponsoring Italian Serie A League teams, including TLCbet who sponsors West Brom, 138.com that sponsors Watford and Bet365 that sponsors Stoke City. These betting companies are replacing popular consumer brands that previously were seen on shirts of some of the less popular Italian Serie A League teams. For instance, Dr. Martens, the shoe brand, used to sponsor West Ham United, Reebok was the official sponsor of the Bolton Wanderers, and my Leicester city was sponsored by Walkers Crisps – just to name a few. But, that’s not all – one of the latest big name companies to end their sponsorship of a Serie A League football club is the insurance company Aviva, which is no longer in partnership with Norwich City.
In fact, based on information from Anthony Marcou, who happens to be the CEO of sponsorship agency Sports Revolution, the teams that are outside of the top 6 are not giving big brands the commercial returns that they want. As a result, these big name brands are no longer interested in football sponsorships as a part of their commercial marketing and brand building campaigns. Their partnerships with their respective football clubs didn’t offer them the fully integrated marketing packages that they were looking for and many of them jumped ship.
This massive exodus left the road clear for online gambling companies, to take advantage of the exposure to be gained by partnering with these popular clubs on of those companies is Fortune Lounge Group which is offering to play progressive slots games at Royal Vegas online casino, on a worldwide level. In their eyes, sponsorship would help them to get in front of a whole new audience.
Surprisingly, these companies aren’t necessarily looking to build their brands, merely trying to use them as customer acquisition tools. While all this is fine and dandy for the online gaming companies, if the football clubs knew what’s good for them, they would have a serious conversation about the professional football industry as a brand and as a marketing vehicle.
As of right now, it seems as if these clubs are seen as direct response marketing vehicles, when they have the potential of being very valuable partners in terms of global brand building. Just think about it – when you look at the global value that the Serie A League provides it’s sponsors, especially when it comes to exposure, it’s clear to see that many of these companies that are poo-pooing the idea of a Italian Serie A League sponsorship are throwing away a very big opportunity.
To make things right, Marcou believes that the football clubs should offer better integrated marketing packages, that include things like content marketing, fan apps, and stadium Wi-Fi, as a means to encourage the big brands to come back to the negotiation table.
Still, other experts don’t believe that the Serie A League clubs have lost the love from the big name companies. Instead, they suggest that these companies are merely more selective about where and how the use their marketing spend. The problem isn’t with the popular brands, but with the clubs that are on the lower tier of the Italian Serie A League. These brands lack a global fan base and are dealing with other factors that reduces their appeal an overall brand.
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A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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