iGaming Sponsorship in Professional Sports


Professional sport is a multi-billion dollar business worldwide and sponsorship is one important way to finance their operations. If you watch popular sports events on TV you must have seen sports betting companies’ advertisements appearing on football T-shirts, billboards and in commercials breaks during the game. 

We are discussing the importance and prevalence of gaming sponsorships with Canadian blogger Michelle Thomas. Michelle is an expert in the iGaming business and you can find out more about her here. 

Football sponsorships

European football is the most-watched type of sport in Canada and the big favourite of most European and South American nations. The English Premier League matches are the most popular of all football events so not surprisingly sponsors happily put their money into Premier League teams. In fact, 17 out of 20 Premiership clubs have partnered with an online betting partner. 

Online casino sponsorship in Canada is also relatively common. As for many football fans watching the match and betting on it go hand in hand online casinos, such as Jackpotcity, can get new customers through football advertisements. A regular bettor might want to play online poker from time to time or try their luck with blackjack or roulette. 

American football

In September 2020 the NFL announced partnering up with 888sports. Previously the NFL was the only major North American sports league without a sports betting sponsor. Before this sponsorship, the NFL had a sponsorship deal with casino operator Ceasars Entertainment.


Basketball is another favourite of the betting companies in Canada to sponsor. The Euroleague itself as well as 12 out of its 18 teams are sponsored by betting operators. And in the USA, where basketball is really big, this trend is also taking off. With recent changes in betting legislation in the US, now NBA allows betting operators to sponsor teams and the NBA itself is sponsored now by casino operator MGM. 

Ice hockey

Canadians’ biggest favourite, ice hockey has also teamed up with MGM who became the National Hockey League’s first official sports betting partner. NHL is now in a multi-year partnership with the casino and hospitality giant who receives data from NHL in order to use for their sports betting operations.

Other sports

An interesting fact is that tennis has banned all types of betting-related sponsorships from the sport. Other popular sports to be sponsored by betting companies is cricket, boxing, rugby and horse racing. 

iGaming giant, Unibet sponsored the 2020 European Handball Championship. This was a surprising move since handball fans are traditionally not the biggest bettors. 

Brand ambassador marketing

This type of marketing is incredibly beneficial for sponsors. Think of Michael Jordan and Nike or Canadian Olympic medalist Tessa Virtue and Adidas. No wonder that sports betting and casino operators are happily investing in advertising with superstars. 

Mixed martial arts superstar Connor McGregor has partnered with Betsafe which certainly brought in new business to the online bookmakers. 

Esports sponsorships

Esports are becoming increasingly popular. During last spring, the Coronavirus lockdown measures forced many sports events to be cancelled. Avid punters have quickly turned to esports events to satisfy their betting cravings. 

Betsafe came into a sponsorship agreement with Godsent esports. The Swedish professional esports organization has several esports teams and their main focus is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. 

Betting companies like to have their names displayed on top-level gaming tournaments as they are trying to get to younger demographics. Esports are favoured by young adults who might not come across TV and radio commercials at all so this is one of the few ways to reach them. 

From small esports sponsors – like GG.Bet who sponsored Natus Vincere – to serious tournament sponsors, the window of new opportunities is open. Companies who recognize this opportunity now when the esports business is just starting up can capitalize on their sponsorship deals. 


Sponsoring professional sports can give great exposure to betting companies. Many sports fans will place regular bets so brand recognition is very important when the competition is so fierce on the betting market. Now North American sports leagues are also opening to betting sponsors and esports sponsorship is a new way to reach younger players. 


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