Twenty seasons ago not a single Premier League jersey carried the name of a gambling company – now nine do. We trace the trends on ‘the most cost-effective billboard you can buy’ and examine the impact sponsorship has
Fun88 is an online gaming business focused on the Asian market, owned by a holding company in the Isle of Man whose directors are residents of the City of Westminster. The brand offers the chance to play Kino, a kind of lottery popular in China, endless “slot” games (including one licensed from the film Bridesmaids) and, of course, in-play sports betting. This summer just gone, the firm agreed to become the shirt sponsor of Newcastle United for an undisclosed fee.
In 2017-18 gambling companies feature on the jerseys of nine Premier League clubs. It is a striking phenomenon that has drawn criticism from anti-gambling campaigners and the Labour party, which has called for such deals to be banned.