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Asian-facing operators secure betting deals with Premier League clubs

16th August 2013 9:46 am GMT

Ahead of the start of the new Premier League football season tomorrow, three clubs have announced new international betting partnerships with Asian-facing gaming operators 188BET.com , TLC88.com and Bodog.com.

Manchester City, which also has a UK betting partnership with Paddy Power, has signed a two-year deal with Isle of Man licensee 188BET.com, with the operator taking over from Mansion as the club’s international betting partner.

188Bet will use Manchester City’s branding and players to boost the brand’s presence in key markets, and be featured prominently on the club’s Malay, Thai, Chinese and Indonesian websites.

The club’s chief commercial and operating officer Tom Glick explained that the partnership would help 188BET expand its operations, particularly throughout South East Asia, adding that the company “has the opportunity to become one of the biggest online gaming companies in the world.”

Glick said that 188BET’s experience with the Premier League (with the likes of Liverpool, Everton, and Chelsea) has made them one of the most popular bookmakers among football fans, making them the “perfect fit” for Manchester City.

Nigel Singer, managing director of 188Bet, added that the club was a “fantastic addition to [its] global partnerships with Premier League football clubs.”

“We are delighted to be associated with a club with such strong heritage and a passionate and loyal global fan base. This will allow us to reach a broad international audience,” he said.

Premier League rival Arsenal FC has also sealed a deal with an Asian-facing operator, agreeing a three-year partnership which sees Bodog become the club’s official Asian betting partner.

Described as the operator’s biggest sponsorship deal to date, Bodog will leverage Arsenal’s Asian fan base, developing marketing initiatives featuring the club’s players, and develop tailored betting promotions around matches.

Bodog marketing director Izhar Biran said Arsenal had “been particularly proactive in the region for a number of years”, making the deal “the perfect partnership to continue the phenomenal growth of the Bodog brand in Asia.”

Arsenal played a number of games in Asia as part of a successful 2013 pre-season tour to Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan.

Arsenal already has a three-year betting and gaming partnership with Scandinavian operator Betsson, under which the club launched online gaming site GunnersGaming.com in August 2011.

A press officer for the football club confirmed that the Betsson deal would continue, with Bodog focusing solely on the Asian market.

Arsenal’s head of global partnerships Vinai Venkatesham said: “As our fanbase in Asia continues to grow rapidly, working in partnership with companies like Bodog who have long-term roots in the region, provides a strong platform to further engage with Arsenal fans in Asia.”

West Bromwich Albion, meanwhile, has partnered with Asian gaming operator TLC88.com, a company founded in 2010 which has already established a similar deal with rival club Sunderland AFC.

The club’s head of corporate sales Iain Wain said the deal, which sees TLC88 become the club’s platinum gaming partner, “is a further measure of strengthening the global reach of West Bromwich Albion.”

“The last four seasons, culminating in Albion’s record Premier League finish, has allowed the commercial team to reach out to partners such as TLC88 who focus on Asian market,” Wain said.

TLC88’s Asia Pacific strategic director Mike Chong commented that the deal would “lead Asians to explore the excitement and atmosphere offered by clubs in Europe”.

West Brom had previously partnered with Asian operator Bodog in a deal which saw the company become the club’s shirt sponsor for the 2011-12 football season. However, the deal was ended after a year, with Bodog replaced with property website Zoopla. 

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