Manchester United has reportedly agreed to a betting partnership with Yabo Sports. With the deal, Yabo becomes the first Asian-facing betting partner of an English Premier League club. The pact is a multi-year global agreement.
Yabo will now be featured across Manchester United’s physical and digital branding, and the deal is estimated to be worth up to £3 million per year. Yabo will now take a place among the club’s top global sponsors as the team’s official gaming partner. In August of 2018, United agreed to a partnership with MoPlay to become the club’s official gambling partner, but they have been replaced a year later by Yabo.
Yabo was officially unveiled as United’s new gambling partner prior to the team’s season-opening fixture against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday. Yabo’s branding was visible on various LED signs around the park, as well as on the club’s official website.
Yabo Sports already has partnerships with other European football giants like Hertha BSC of the German Bundesliga and AS Monaco of Ligue 1 in France. Yabo is also partners with Serie A, the top division of Italian football.
Manchester United is the most valuable football club on the planet, and they have worked steadily to expand their range of sponsorships in recent years. Managing director Richard Arnold was reportedly behind the partnership with Yabo Sports, and Arnold has quite been active on the business front lately. Arnold took charge of United’s commercial revenue back in 2008, when the club generated about £66 million via partnerships.
As recently as the 2017-18 season, the team’s commercial revenue had risen to a whopping £276 million under Arnold’s guidance. Betfair, bwin, and Marathonbet are some other gambling entities that have done business with United in the past.
Manchester United’s portfolio includes a massive £750 million pact with Adidas, who is set to create the club’s kits over a 10-year period. The team’s primary shirt sponsor, Chevrolet, is in the midst of a deal estimated to be worth another £500 million. Delivery firm DHL, insurance provider Aon, watchmakers Tag Heuer, and gaming company Konami are some other partners with which United are associated. In all, the club has 23 active sponsorship deals in place.
Partnerships between football clubs and betting entities are nothing new, of course. Nine of the 20 teams currently in the Premier League feature gambling companies as their primary shirt sponsors. Another 17 of the 24 teams in the Championship, the second tier of English football, have betting companies featured on the front of their kits.
Sky Bet have a sponsorship agreement with each of the top three divisions of English football. However, some in the UK are concerned about the proliferation of sports betting, particularly among the nation’s youth. Jim Orford of Gambling Watch recently said, “There is evidence that gambling is becoming ever more normalized, particularly among young people, so that increasingly betting is seen as part and parcel of following and supporting one’s favorite sport or team.”
Manchester United kicked off the 2019-20 campaign in style with a 4-0 thrashing of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in the opener at home. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will look to make it 2 wins in 2 on the road against Wolverhampton Wanderers in Matchweek 2.
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