Sky Bet and English Football League (EFL) have agreed on a multi-million pound five-year extension of its sponsorship. Sky Bet is the headline sponsor of the Championship, League One and League Two football divisions of EFL.
The new deal from the Leeds-based operation extends the overall sponsorship to a total of at least 11 years and will run up to the 2023/24 season. The value of the deal remains undisclosed, but Sky Bet has revealed that the cost of the sponsorship will increase 20% each year starting the 2019/20 season.
Recently, gambling advertising has received increasing scrutiny from the UK government. In the wake of the scenario, the sponsorship will include responsible gambling messages on every club shirt. Besides, there will be an announcement of responsible gambling as a part of Sky Bet’s ‘responsible gambling’ ad campaign.
Not just in England, betting industry has come under fire across the world. Earlier this year, English football's governing body, Football Association, parted ways with gambling firms having put an end to sponsorship deals. In Australia, the government has enforced a ban on TV gambling ads during matches. 95% of ad breaks during live football game in United Kingdom feature at least 1 gambling advert, claims a recent research.
Richard Flint, chief executive of Sky Betting & Gaming, emphasized on additional focus on responsible gambling and urged betting operators to play an active part in raising awareness. Moreover, he pledged support to deploy more marketing capabilities to ensure nothing gets in the way of people’s enjoyment of the sport.
Sky Bet will highlight its responsible gambling message in all the upcoming English Football League match day programs this weekend, also on LED boards in grounds across the country.
The revenue from the Sky Bet deal will be split among the 72 clubs in the English Football League, which includes three divisions below the Premier League.