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Norwich City drops BK8 as shirt sponsor after fan backlash

11th June 2021 7:15 am GMT
Football

Newly promoted English Premier League side Norwich City has ditched Asian betting operator BK8 as its shirt sponsor, just days after unveiling the new deal.

BK8 Sports was announced as Norwich City’s principal partner for the upcoming 2021-22 season earlier this week, replacing Dafabet who had sponsored the club for the past two seasons.

Within a week however, the club has been forced to backtrack and terminated the commercial partnership after fans complained about the operator’s marketing, which consistently features young women in revealing clothes on Instagram and other Asian-facing social media channels.

In a statement Thursday, the club said it had taken on board feedback from its supporters and partners, and after continued discussions, agreed to immediately end the partnership.

The club had expected some negative responses to the announcement of the partnership with another betting company, but acknolwedged that BK8’s ways of marketing “do not align with those of the football club”.

“On this occasion, we got it wrong,” said the club. “For that, and any offence caused, the club apologises.”

“We have worked hard to build trust and engagement through our countless initiatives with our supporters and partners,” explained Norwich City chief operating officer Ben Kensell. “We place huge value on our open and honest relationships with our community and supporters.

“As a self-financed club there is always a fine balance between generating the revenue levels required to help maintain that model, whilst working within our visions and values. On this occasion, we made an error of judgement. Our standards were not at the levels we demand of our football club.

“We can now only apologise to our supporters and former players, Grant Holt and Darren Eadie, who were across the BK8 promotional launch campaign, for any offence caused. We remain highly committed to diversity and equality across our football club and its community. We want to continue to embed a highly inclusive culture across the club, together with an accessible and welcoming environment free of demeaning and discriminatory behaviours.”

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