• Andy Marston

La Liga clubs hit for six by gambling sponsorship ban

There are six La Liga clubs currently playing without shirt sponsors after a ban on gambling brands was introduced in Spanish football at the start of this season. It serves as a stark warning for other European sports teams to diversify their revenue streams.

Photo Source: xInigoxLarreinax

Numerous top-flight teams in Spain, including Granada, Real Sociedad, and Levante have begun the La Liga season without a headline shirt sponsor following the introduction of a law that bans betting sponsors from the front of kits in Spanish football.

The ban on gambling sponsorships was announced by the Spanish government last October, citing the negative influence betting brands have on society’s most vulnerable as the reason action must be taken.

It was reported that the UK government could follow suit and introduce their own ban, but that’s yet come to pass. However, research from VERSUS shows that 77% of young fans would support English football introducing a similar ban.

As a result, what is currently happening in Spain should serve as a warning. The six La Liga clubs are each paying the price for not diversifying their revenues and partnerships fast enough.

There are countless English clubs that could find themselves in a similar position if similar regulations were enforced. While we have seen clubs such as Everton and Aston Villa migrate away from bookmakers, the majority of clubs (outside the ‘Big Six’) rely heavily on the betting sector.

The potential for regulation changes should, hopefully, lead to more football clubs diversifying their revenue streams. This means embracing new emerging trends such as the increased appetite for micro-content and digital goods. Furthermore, for the gambling brands themselves, it should open them up to be more innovative with how they activate partnerships and look to engage with a club’s fanbase.