Bournemouth FC and MansionBet End Deal
by Glenn Baird - June 1, 2020
Following a report that the UK Gambling Commission would be investigating Mansion’s M88 brand, Premier League club Bournemouth FC has chosen to end their affiliation with the group.
Up until yesterday M88 had been the primary shirt sponsor for Bournemouth FC, but with their contract ending on Sunday and pressure for Premier League clubs to end their affiliation with betting companies, the investigation into M88’s “model and operations” was a bridge too far to see the club agree to a new deal.
It is worth noting that the deal in question is for advertising space on the front of the players’ shirts and the sleeve sponsorship with Mansion will remain in place.
The UKGC has not identified what aspects of M88’s “model and operations” they are planning to investigate but it was reported in the UK media in April that MansionBet’s VIP scheme would be looked at by the UK regulator.
With the increasing likelihood that Premier League football will see a return in a matter of weeks Bournemouth FC has not managed to secure a new shirt deal, which means that they are instead considering a massage of thanks for the NHS to see out the remainder of their fixtures.
A Bournemouth statement read: “AFC Bournemouth can confirm that its partnership with M88 will end on Sunday (May 31). The online gaming company has featured on the front of the club’s home, away and third shirts, and training wear, since the start of the 2017-18 season. The club will therefore complete the 2019-20 campaign in new training wear and playing kits.
“AFC Bournemouth would like to thank M88 for its support over the past three years.”
The hunt for a new short sponsor is not going to be an easy one, given the difficulties in securing any sort of deal in the current climate of Covid-19. However, if would be a clear boon for any company to land such prime advertising space given the number of high profile games that the club still has left to play, with 9 of their remaining matches confirmed for live TV coverage and with teams such as Manchester City and United still to play the relegation threatened outfit.
In February of this year is was widely reported that the UK government may look into ending shirt sponsors in the Premier League affiliated with betting companies. Right now, 9 of the 20 teams in the English top flight have betting companies as their primary shirt sponsor, none of which include any of the teams in the top 6 positions.
The Labour MP Carolyn Harris, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on gambling-related harm said in February:
“I really believe the government will do something about it and do it very soon. I think it is imminent. I truly believe this. It was in both manifestos [Labour and Conservative]. If you watch any debate in the House of Commons about the issue, before you would have struggled to get three of us in there to talk and now everyone wants to be part of it.
“It will happen. Clubs should never have been so dependent on gambling companies in the first place. There will be a change. The government wants it, the industry needs it and the sporting fraternity will be a much better place for it.”