VIE 28 DE ENERO DE 2022 - 03:31hs.
Opinion - Pedro Garcia, Head of Marketing of bet.pt

The role of football sponsorship by gaming operators

In an exclusive column for the Portuguese newspaper Dinheiro Vivo, Pedro Miguel Garcia, Head of Marketing at Bet Entertainment Technologies Limited (Bet.pt), talks about the entry of several gaming operators in Liga Portugal bwin as sponsors in recent weeks. “We must look at the entry of online gambling operators - sports betting and casino - as an asset for clubs without neglecting the theme of Responsible Gaming,” explains the executive.

Liga Portugal itself, after an excellent work developed with NOS, now has an online game operator as a naming sponsor and main sponsor.

bwin, which is about to enter the Portuguese market, has started to prepare its operation by sponsoring the main football competition in our country. With this come doubts and concerns. But it is important to assess the situation as a whole, and not get carried away by what first impressions are. Is the glass half full or half empty?

We are finally recovering from what was one of the most difficult periods of humanity, with a pandemic experienced on a global scale, which affected all sectors and industries, penalizing them in their revenues. Football, all over the world, was no exception. The clubs lost much of what was their income, namely from box office.

Several clubs also saw their sponsors and agreements being revised or even cancelled, so the entry of new sponsors, the renegotiation of agreements, should be seen in a positive light.

We should look at the entry of online gaming operators - sports betting and casino - as an asset for Portuguese clubs, which will thus have more capacity to grow, which will make our league increasingly competitive. In this specific case, we are talking about values ​​from bwin which are around an investment of 7 million euros, which represents good revenue for football and, consequently, for the Portuguese economy.

It is obviously not to neglect the theme of Responsible Gaming, or the dangers that the addiction to online gambling entails. However, it should be taken into account that the Portuguese market is regulated, and that all operators regularly develop awareness campaigns with the clear objective of protecting the player.

In the middle of the pandemic period, the SRIJ - Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service - developed a Manual of Good Practices with the aim of alerting to the dangers of Online Gaming and thus protecting the most vulnerable, namely minors.

This manual, well accepted by all operators, has been respected and has led to TV communication, for example, being transferred to periods after 22:30. Outdoor campaigns are increasingly worked in the sense that their locations are chosen and scrutinized so that they are far from places frequented by minors. And this point is to be commended. Self-regulation by operators who across the board demonstrate a clear concern with addiction and addiction.

When we look at the big picture, we see the concerns inherent in sponsoring football clubs by online game operators. However, it should be noted that this practice does not only happen in Portugal. Across Europe, with England at the head, we see a clear bet on the part of operators.

This sponsorship strategy, which allows us to be present at the moment when bettors are concentrated on the sporting event, and then receptive to receiving messages, seems to me to be positive for football. It allows you to communicate at the right time, without getting into a noise war that would be more harmful to the general population.

It also seems to me that while operators are concerned about Responsible Gaming, bwin contributes 1% of its Gross Gaming Revenue to campaigns to raise awareness and protect players, and know the responsible limits, that investing in football clubs is a clear added value for football.

Football in Portugal will thus have the possibility to continue to rise in level, and become more competitive, more interesting and attractive for the Portuguese. And, of course, we cannot neglect the gains that will, of course, instill in the Portuguese economy.


Pedro Garcia
Head of Marketing bet.pt