The Secret Marketer wrote about sport and sponsorship last week and mentioned the emergence of online betting firms as the latest sector to get involved. Read the article at http://www.marketing week.co.uk/secretmarketersport and some comments below:
I’ve worked in numerous sports, including rugby union, basketball and football, and while I agree there is a large number of online betting sites within the arena, you are purely looking at main sponsors. When you delve deeper, you find a much more eclectic mix of sponsor, both at a local, national and international level.
I agree that betting sites have an effect on parts of society, but I disagree that their participation in sports sponsorship has any influence on this. The number of people affected by it will be minimal compared to the numbers affected by these brands’ advertising.
As for the corruption of sport, I fear that regardless of online betting organisations, it always has been, and will continue to be a problem. The reason for the recent increase for people getting caught is not down to online betting firms but improved detection methods, stings, and vastly improved global communication channels, making it much easier to leave a trail.
I don’t see what the big deal is. Online gambling is a product and products need to be marketed. Sponsorship is a fantastic way to do this, especially considering you can bet on sports games through their websites (even if it is when a no-ball will be bowled). For me, this seems an ideal fit and one in which sponsorship will provide significant value for both the sponsor, the rights owner, and the audience.
I am not saying that incessant gambling is a positive contribution to society… but the reason that booze and cigarettes have been banned from sponsorship is because they are a health hazard and they have been banned from marketing campaigns full stop.