While this is mostly a Scunthorpe United blog, today I wanted to talk about the impact that a certain online gaming site and sportsbook is having on the game of football. Many of you may have heard previous rumors of bwin sponsoring Manchester United in the Premier League. Those rumors became reality a few weeks ago when the online site and sportsbook signed a deal with the team to become a primary sponsor.
Bwin has been taking a real interest in the game of football for years now. They have been a sponsor of Real Madrid since 2007 and in 2010 they signed a couple of big title sponsor deals.
They are the title sponsor of the Portuguese League Cup, to be renamed the Bwin Cup and Italy’s Serie B is now Serie bwin. Let’s also not forget that the Portuguese first football league was renamed bwinLIGA and they have supported clubs such as AC Milan, Juventus Turin, and Werder Bremen.
Some will point out that bwin does indeed support other sports, but not nearly in the proportion that they do football. Part of it may be the fact that the bwin brand and football make a great match due to the popularity of the sport and betting on the sport by fans of the game. The other obvious reason is the sheer reach of our game of football around the world. Even the Americans are slowly catching onto the game and are beginning to become competitive.
While the sponsorship of football teams like Manchester United may be a reasonable “business move” by bwin as a company, it ultimately will lead to growing our game as a whole. The more major sponsors continue to support football, the stronger the football brands and leagues become and that strength can trickle down to all teams involved, including Scunthorpe United.