Bet365 Becomes First Betting Operator to Secure EPL Stadium Name
Stoke City is getting a new stadium name and bet365 is finally getting up close and personal with professional soccer. Per reports, the United Kingdom based betting operator has landed a deal with the English Premier League (EPL) club that will help expand seating from 30,000 to 31,800, while the stadium formerly known as the Britannia will be regarded as Bet365 Stadium.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) April 21, 2016
The stadium development deal is slated to be good for the 2016-17 EPL season, when the changes will fully take effect.
While big news for both sides on a basic level, the move by bet365 is also huge for the gambling world. No other betting company had managed to seal a deal with any EPL team when it came to stadium naming rights – until now.
A six-year deal was inked and announced this past Thursday, officially marking a huge milestone in the UK betting sponsorship realm. Per CalvinAyre.com, other betting operators had managed to nail down different deals that had their name in the stadium or affiliated with pro football teams in various ways, but bet365 has become the first to have a stadium don their name.
The deal was likely expedited thanks to the fact that Stoke City FC is owned by the Coates family, who founded and currently own bet365. The two sides had already been knee-deep in a successful shirt sponsorship, making the jump to stadium name rights a “natural fit”. Per reports, the shirt sponsorship is also expected to continue.
Given that the Britannia brand no longer exists, club chief executive Tony Scholes admitted that Stoke City FC had been broaching all possible options. An already positive standing relationship with bet365 naturally aided talks, while Scholes pointed to the evolution of professional football and bet365’s brand power:
“The Premier League is watched around the world and bet365 are a truly global company. We are delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement with them over the stadium naming rights for an initial six year period, along with the extension of their shirt sponsorship agreement.”
Stoke City FC remains in the middle of the pack in the Premier League on the year, holding down the 9th spot with a 13-13-8 record.
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