Gaming sponsorship has grown into a key source of revenue for sporting bodies; no more so than in football. But how has this market developed and can it can continue in its present form?
When London football club Fulham became the first team to sign a shirt deal with a betting brand in 2002, few could have predicted the impact it would have on the sports sponsorship market.
The following years have seen new gaming operators caught up in a desperate battle for market share. Sponsorship is considered a fast and effective way to grow brand awareness, and it is a strategy that operators have grabbed with both hands.
Little has changed since those early days, however, in terms of the deals signed. Headline naming rights for events or stadia, shirt deals and TV idents are still the norm, though official betting partner status is a relatively new addition to the mix.