Is gambling at-odds with football?

Everton has announced Cazoo will become the Club’s new main partner, replacing Sportpesa – which was terminated earlier this season. The deal was not announced as a ‘Club record’ by Everton, suggesting a fall from what the club was previously receiving. Besides it being a buyer’s market, what reasons do Everton have for accepting a ‘lower’ offer?  

Firstly, there is the case of replica kit sales. Sports Pundit previously reported the Club’s record partnership with Hummel. The Danish manufacturer will be delighted as, "For the first time since the 2003/04 season, replica kits featuring the Club’s main partner branding will be available to purchase in junior and children’s sizes." 

When you exclude the ‘Big Six’, over 60% of Premier League teams wore betting firms on the front of their jerseys for the 2019/20 season, including Everton. Parting from Sportpesa could be viewed as a signal of intent. It could also be a move to secure their future commercial revenue as the government commits to a review of the 2005 Gambling Act – which could lead to a similar situation to Italy.

The removal of a betting firm from the shirt doesn’t prevent the Toffees from being able to cash-in on gambling. Everton could look to procure a betting partner for the soon-to-be-vacant shirt sleeve. They could also explore the possibilities of regional gambling deals, which may be possible even if legislation is introduced (see Juventus). 

Clubs in the Premier League, and abroad, should study this commercial model and consider securing more diverse commercial partners.

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