Premier League football club West Bromwich Albion FC has announced Asian iGaming operator K8 Group as the team’s new shirt sponsor, with the deal beginning from the start of the 2016-17 season.

The agreement, described by the club as a record commercial deal, will run for an initial two years, and will aid K8 Group in its UK online casino launch via the Microgaming-powered UK-K8.com site.

It will work with the team to reach and engage with new customers in the UK, with West Brom also working alongside K8 in the Asian market, where the brand is particularly strong.

Albion believes that the partnership will provide a strategic opportunity to increase its following and engage with fans in new markets. The pair will also collaborate on developing video content to further engage sponsors and supporters.

“K8 Group has had a long standing interest in working with a Premier League club and finally we are here with one of the most respected clubs in the league,” K8 Group chief operating officer Vincent Huang said.

Chinese interest in the Premier League has grown rapidly following a new broadcasting deal signed with the country’s largest free-to-air television station CCTV.

“This partnership is delivered as a true partnership for both parties,” Huang continued. “We are working on a joint marketing plan that will focus on raising awareness of UK-K8.com in the UK whilst also ensuring the development of the West Bromwich Albion brand in Asia.

"We will be working with the Club on several key projects to create a platform for the club to grow awareness and engagement in this region.

"In keeping with various government strategies in the Asian region, we will also be working with the club on coaching exchanges and other football related initiatives, hopefully replicating some elements of the highly successful Pass It Forward project in India,” he added. “And, of course, Albion fans across the world can look forward to some exciting opportunities to better connect with the Baggies through UK-K8.com.”

Albion has worked with a number of gambling companies in past, with NetBet serving as its official betting partner and another Asian operator, TLCBet, its current shirt sponsor.

“We welcome K8 Group to our well established partnership programme,” Albion sales and marketing director Adrian Wright commented. “Once again we have selected to work alongside a challenger brand that will align with the club’s on-going aspirations for global brand recognition.

"It was clear from our talks that the joint promotional approach in Asia will add immense amount of value to the club and will enable us to continue to grow our supporter bases in emerging parts of the world,” he explained.

K8 Group is preparing for its full UK launch, under a licence from the UK Gambling Commission, which will take place in the coming months.

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