Bookmaker Sponsorship – What Sports & Events Do Bookies Sponsor

bet365 sponsored kit advert shown at bet365 sponsored stoke city stadiumBetting companies like brands in other industries need to get their name out there.  Betting on sports is big business and so it makes sense that now and in the past bookies have sponsored these aggressively.

It is not just about trying to attract new customers either, advertising is important for big bookmakers and betting brands to ensure that people remember their names and see them as still relevant.

The big brand names have been sponsoring sports since way back in the 1970’s and as a cash rich industry they can often outcompete sponsors in other markets.  Indeed, betting companies capitalised on tobacco and later alcohol advertising bans by increasing the number of events they sponsored.

In more recent times gambling sponsorship has been under the spotlight, especially in football.  This has led to some sports moving away from gambling sponsors.  This is even true in traditional games like darts and snooker who have opted for sponsors such as Cazoo in recent years.

How betting companies will adapt in the future remains to be seen but what we can guarantee is they will continue to sponsor sports and games where they are allowed to and where they are welcomed.  Here we look at the major betting companies and what they have sponsor now and in the past.


Sport Sponsoring Years Cost
Horse Racing Group One Spring Cup 2005 – 2016 Unknown
Cheltenham Gold Cup 2012 – 2015 £550,000 in Prize Money
Epsom Downs Classics 2023 – 2026 £1.5 Million in Prize Money
Betfred St Leger Stakes 2023 – ???? Unknown
Rugby League Super League 2017 – 2023 £850,000 – £900,000
National Conference League 2018 – 2019 Unknown
Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair England Rugby Teams 2022 – 2023 Unknown
Snooker World Snooker Championships 2009 – 2012
2015 – 2022
Football Scottish League Cup 2016 – 2019 £1 Million
Bolton Wanderers Shirt Sponsor 2017 – 2019 Unknown
RCD Mallorca Shirt Sponsor 2019 – 2021 Unknown
Darts PDC World Matchplay 2019 – 2025 £700,000 – £800,000
NFL Denver Broncos 2020 – ???? Unknown
Cincinnati Bengals 2022 – ???? Unknown
MLB Colorado Rockies 2021 – ???? Unknown
USL Loudoun United 2023 – ???? Unknown

The Betfred brand launched in 1967 as a single betting shop in Salford. By 2000, the total number of shops owned by Betfred stood at 200. It was in 2004 that the company changed its name from Done Bookmakers to Betfred, this came about to coincide with the launch of its online platform.

Through that website, it offered sports betting, casino gaming, bingo, and much more. It maintains this level of entertainment to this day. In the proceeding years, Betfred has gone from strength to strength. By July 2017, it owned 1,650 shops across the United Kingdom. That same year, it celebrated 50 years of business.

Those years have also seen Betfred involve itself in several sponsorship deals. They include sponsorship in the areas of horse racing, rugby league, snooker, and football, amongst others. Even darts and the NFL have been able to form partnerships with Betfred.

Horse Racing

Betfred has a long-running relationship with the horse racing sector. It remains as one of the largest sponsors of the sport. For many years it had races spread across various racecourses. This included the Midlands National run, the Dante Stakes, and the Cesarewitch Handicap.

In 2017, the brand had to end its commercial relationship with British racing, though. This saw it close its on-course betting shops at almost all tracks. The only ones remaining were those at Ascot and Chelmsford. Yet in 2023, new sponsorship deals with The Oaks, The Derby and St Leger came to light.

Rugby League

The Super League has had seven sponsors since its inaugural season in 1996. Stones Bitter was its initial sponsor and Betfred is its most recent. The company became the first bookmaker to sponsor the Super League in 2017. Betfair offered to sponsor the Super League in 2012, but this was not accepted by the RFL.

Estimates suggest the deal is worth £850,000 – £900,000 per year. As a result of the deal, it became known as the Betfred Super League. Betfred also signed a two-year deal to sponsor the Championship and League 1 in 2018. Then, between 2022 and 2023, it would sponsor the England men’s, women’s, and wheelchair teams’ shirts.


Most of the World Snooker Championships had sponsorship from tobacco companies to 2005. This had been in place ever since 1969. Legislation introduced in 2003 placed restrictions on tobacco advertising, though.

As a result, from 2006 to 2022, sponsorship came from betting companies. Betfred first sponsored it between 2009 and 2012. It then returned as sponsor between 2015 and 2022. It now gets its sponsorship from online car retailer Cazoo.


One of Betfred’s longest-running partnerships in football came with Manchester United. Between 2006 and 2013, it was the official betting partner of the football club. This partnership was also renewed before the 2022-23 season.

Betfred also took over the sponsorship of the Scottish League Cup in 2016. This saw the Cup rebranded as the Betfred Cup for three years initially. The deal was then extended to last until 2021 and was worth £1 million.

Further to that, Betfred has been the shirt sponsor for two football teams. In 2017, it became the shirt sponsor for Bolton Wanderers for two seasons. Then, in 2019, it partnered with RCD Mallorca as its shirt sponsor. This would last for two seasons once again. In both instances, the teams’ shirts displayed the Betfred logo.


The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) has also benefitted from a Betfred partnership. In 2019, the betting brand announced it would sponsor the World Matchplay tournament. This deal would last until 2022 in its initial state.

Before the 2022 event got underway, Betfred said it had renewed the deal until 2025. This sees the tournament named as the Betfred World Matchplay. Total prize money during Betfred’s sponsorship has stood at £700,000 – £800,000.


Betfred has even begun sponsoring sports teams in the United States of America. In 2020, it signed into a multi-year deal with the Denver Broncos as official sports betting partner. The team was due to open its sports betting lounge that year and Betfred’s logo would be visible within.

A similar deal came about between Betfred and the Cincinnati Bengals in 2022. At the NFL team’s home ground, Paycor Stadium, the Betfred logo appears atop the scoreboard. There is also the Betfred Gate for fans to walk through. The betting brand is the only one to have its logo showcased inside the Paycor Stadium.

Baseball hasn’t gone untouched, either. In 2021, Betfred signed a multi-year deal with the Colorado Rockies. This surrounds marketing and sponsorship. The terms of the deal also includes various digital and stadium assets at Coors field. Game day experiences for fans, like ticket giveaways, also make up a part of it. Betfred stands as a Proud Partner of the Colorado Rockies.

The final foray into the U.S. sports scene (for now) is a deal with the USL team, Loudoun United. As Betfred prepared to launch its mobile sportsbook in Virginia, the deal came to light. It sees the betting brand’s logo appear on the back of Loudoun soccer players’ away shirts. The multi-year deal will see further brand activations planned, too.

William Hill

Sport Sponsoring Years Cost
Horse Racing Grand National 2023 – 2026 Unknown
Racing League 2021 – 2022 Unknown
Football Chelsea 2016 – 2019 Unknown
Everton 2016 – 2018 Unknown
Tottenham 2016 – ???? Unknown
Scottish Cup 2011 – 2020 £1 Million+
Celtic FC 2022 – 2024 Unknown
Robbie Savage 2010 – ???? Unknown
Darts PDC World Darts Championship 2015 – 2022 £2 Million
NFL Indianapolis Colts 2020 – ???? Unknown
U.S. Sports NHL 2019 – ???? Unknown
U.S. Sports NBA 2019 – ???? Unknown
Boxing Anthony Joshua 2018 – 2019 Unknown
U.S. Sports Monumental Sports & Entertainment 2019 – ???? Unknown

William Hill is another long-running UK gambling company. First starting out in 1934, the brand began as a series of land-based betting shops. It changed hands several times throughout the years. The London Stock Exchange would list it in 2002, and this helped it build a great reputation. As the late 2000s and into the 2010s hit, the company suffered a little.

It had over £1 billion of debt, later reported as £1.5 billion. Various restructuring took place, although in 2018, it received a fine of £6.2 million from the UKGC. After its acquisition by Caesars Entertainment in 2020, it received another penalty. In 2023, the Commission handed out a huge £19.2 million fine for social responsibility failures.

Despite some of its shortcomings, William Hill has entered into various deals over the years. It has had a big presence within the horse racing industry, as well as in football. Yet a lot of its more recent partnerships have come together with U.S. brands and sports. This is more notable after its takeover by Caesars Entertainment – a U.S. company.

Horse Racing

William Hill and horse racing go back years. Then again, the company has been active since the 1930s. There have been various horse races sponsored by the company throughout that time. In 2007, the betting firm threatened to withdraw such deals.

This came about due to its dispute with racecourses over TurfTV. At the time, it was the sponsor of the William Hill Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival. Yet it ended up subscribing to the channel in January of the following year.

A couple of the more recent sponsorships in horse racing from William Hill have been:

  • The Grand National – In 2023, William Hill announced it has entered into a partnership with the Grand National. This marks it as the official betting partner of the race for the next three years. It also became the named sponsor of three ITV-televised races during Aintree at the same time. Those were the Grade 1 William Hill Aintree Hurdle, the William Hill Handicap Hurdle, and the Grade 3 William Hill Handicap Chase.
  • Racing League – Both the 2021 and 2022 editions of the Racing League received sponsorship from the betting firm. Launched in 2021, it became the first horse racing event to follow a league format. Participants represent seven regions in Great Britain and Ireland in it. Racing League has a total prize fund of over £2 million.


The biggest deal that came about between football and William Hill was in 2011. It was at this point that it began sponsoring the Scottish Cup. This saw the trophy renamed as the William Hill Scottish Cup. That partnership lasted up until 2020. It also saw the betting firm be the official partner of the Scotland National team.

The South Stand at Hampden Park was also named the William Hill stand. The betting brand’s investment surpassed the eight-figure mark during 2015’s renewal. It ended due to the backlash of betting companies’ involvement in Scottish football.

William Hill has also been the official betting partner of several top-tier clubs. This includes:

  • Everton: From 2016 – 2018
  • Chelsea: From 2016 – 2019
  • Tottenham: From 2016 – ongoing
  • Celtic FC – From 2022 – 2024


For seven years, between 2015 and 2022, William Hill also had a darts sponsorship deal. This saw it operate as the official sponsor of the PDC World Darts Championship. Before this, it had Ladbrokes as its official sponsor between 2003 and 2014. It is now sponsored by Cazoo.

That marks the end of the 20-year run of bookmakers sponsoring the darts tournament. Through those betting sponsorships, the PDC was able to increase the prize pool to £2.5 million by 2022.

U.S. Sports

It is also the case that William Hill is active in the U.S. scene. This has seen it become the official sports betting partner of the NFL and NBA. Both of those deals came about in 2019. It was also in that year that it entered a deal with Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Again, this sees it operate as the brand’s official sports betting partner.

Through the deal, the betting firm became the official betting partner of three more sports teams. The Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Capitals (NHL) and Washington Mystics (WNBA).

High-Profile Individuals

William Hill also welcomed Anthony Joshua into the fold as a brand ambassador. This took place in 2018, with the deal lasting for one year. The professional boxer represented the bookmaker, featuring in its advertising campaigns. Joshua was to back the company’s social media and PR activities across all platforms.

Since 2010, Robbie Savage has also been a brand ambassador for William Hill. In 2018, the former footballer-turned-pundit came under fire from the BBC. This occurred after he promoted the gambling company hours before covering the Champions League broadcast on the BBC.

The star received criticism for using “dangerous” promotion tactics. Some suggested that it played on the vulnerabilities of gambling addicts. Yet Savage has helped with the William Hill Foundation. This has raised funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and other good causes.


Sport Sponsoring Years Cost
Football Stoke City 2012 – ???? £3 Million
Ludogorets Razgrad 2016 – 2018 Unknown
Slavia Sofia 2016 – ???? Unknown
La Liga 2018 – ???? Unknown
Horse Racing Craven Stakes 2004 – 2005
2017 – 2022
Bet365 Gold Cup 2008 – ???? Unknown
Greyhound Racing Promotion of All Greyhound Racing 2022 – ???? Unknown
Boxing Boxxer 2021 – 2023 Unknown
MMA UFC 2021 – ???? Unknown
Spotlight Sports Group Video Partnership 2020 – ???? Unknown

The Bet365 brand began operating in 2000 from a portacabin in Stoke-on-Trent. Denise Coates developed the sports betting platform and a trading team. This helped it to launch online in March of the following year.

It borrowed £15 million from the Royal Bank of Scotland against the family’s betting shop estate. Denise had been managing that since 1995 after her father started it in 1974. Bet365 sold its betting shop chain to Coral in 2005 for £40 million. Since then, it has operated all its business in the online world.

While its sponsorship deals may not stand out as much as those from other brands, it does have some. This includes deals with Stoke City football club, as well as two Bulgarian clubs. The minimal deals forged in the early days are a thing of the past, though. New deals set up in the early 2020s have come to light, including those with Premier League clubs. Its current sponsorship extends to several of those clubs, various horse racing events, greyhound racing, and more.


The two areas that Bet365 has been most active in sponsorship-wise are football and horse racing. In May of 2012, Bet365 signed a three-year contract with Stoke to become shirt sponsors. That deal has never faltered, with Bet365 still having its logo on team shirts today.

It was in April of 2016 that a further deal with Stoke was also forged. This saw the betting firm become the new title sponsors for the club’s stadium. It remains active as the Bet365 Stadium. The partnership reportedly is worth at least £3 million per season.

It is also the case that Bet365 went further afield with its shirt sponsorship deals. In 2016, it signed into agreements with both Ludogorets Razgrad and Slavia Sofia. The two Bulgarian teams emblazoned the Bet365 logo on their shirts as a result. The deal with Ludogorets lasted for two years, with the logo appearing on their away kit. The deal with Slavia Sofia remains in effect today.

Furthermore, Bet365 entered Spain’s La Liga in 2018 alongside various other betting brands. Headlines were rife at the time, stating that Bet365 had “colonised” half of the Spanish league. Up to 10 new sponsorship deals came to light. Shirt sponsorship was not included in the agreements. Instead, the Bet365 logo appeared everywhere else. This included on team buses, within stadium facilities, on social media, etc. It included deals with:

  • Villareal Club de Fútbol
  • SD Eibar
  • Getafe CF
  • Athletic Bilbao
  • Real Betis
  • Rayo Vallecano
  • RC Celta de Vig
  • RDC Espanyol de Barcelona
  • Real Valladolid
  • SD Huesca

Horse Racing

It would be overwhelming to list all the horse racing events Bet365 has been a part of. Over the years, it has had a prominent position within the industry. It sponsored the Craven Stakes at Newmarket in 2004 and then 2005. It returned to do the same thing between 2017 and 2022 again. Yet for 2023, it has several main sponsorship deals in the horse racing industry. They include:

  • January 21 – Ascot
  • April 18 – 20 – Newmarket (Craven)
  • April 28 – 29 – Sandown (Bet365 Gold Cup)
  • June 11 – Perth (Gold Cup)
  • July 8 – Haydock (Lancashire Oaks)
  • September 30 – Newmarket (Cambridgeshire)
  • December 16 – Doncaster (Summit Hurdle)

Greyhound Racing

For the first time in its history, Bet365 will also support and promote greyhound racing. Not too long ago, the company announced a significant sponsorship deal. Through this, it aims to support the sport with a range of competitions across 2023.

A spokesperson for Bet365 said that the deal would cover four major competitions. This includes the Bet365 Empress Stakes in September and Bet365 Puppy Oaks in November. Coverage is also featuring on SIS and Racing Post Greyhound TV (RPGTV).


It was in 2022 that Bet365 renewed its existing partnership with UFC. The deal, which began in 2021, expanded last year to include a new YouTube series. As part of the deal, Bet365 receives extra visibility across UFC digital content.

Promotions on social media channels and at the famous octagon venue also display the Bet365 logo. Further coverage is also assured on the UFC Fight Pass digital subscription service.


Finally, Bet365 signed a deal with a professional boxing company in the UK – Boxxer. Founded by Ben Shalom in 2018, the sponsorship deal came about in 2021. This solidifies the betting brand as one of the official betting partners of Boxxer.

Sky Sports is the other one. Bet365 branding features in a prominent way at ringside during events. It is also present on Sky Sports and during filming at Wembley Arena. Live streams of bouts are also streamed via the Bet365 website.


Sport Sponsoring Years Cost
Horse Racing Neil Callan 2022 Unknown
Cheltenham Races 2021 Unknown
Tingle Creek Chase 2014 Unknown
Fontwell Park Racecourse 2010 Unknown
Football RB Leipzig 2022 – 2023 Unknown
Birmingham City 2016 – 2019 Unknown
Nottingham Forest 2016 – 2018 Unknown
Brentford 2016 – 2017 Unknown
Preston North End 2016 – 2017 Unknown
Ian Wright 2012 Unknown
Santiago Cañizares 2011 – 2012 Unknown
Sevilla FC 2007 – 2011 Unknown
Middlesbrough FC 2004 – 2007 Unknown
NFL Official Betting Partner 2020 – 2025 Unknown
New York Jets 2018 – 2019 Unknown

888 Holdings is a company founded in 1997 by two Israeli entrepreneurs. It launched its official website, Casino-on-Net under the original name of Virtual Holdings. The company’s administrative centre was also set up in Antigua at the time.

This moved to Gibraltar in 2003 and 888 was then listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005. The online website oversees gambling on sports, casino games, poker, and bingo. It is the 888Sport subsidiary that involves itself in sponsorship deals. Launched as the dedicated sports arm of 888 in March 2008, its first deal came about in 2010.

Horse Racing

Like many other sports betting brands, 888Sport has had a central focus on horse racing. It is, of course, one of the UK’s biggest draws in the sports world and various cups and races have received sponsorship from 888Sport.

One of the most recent sponsorships came about in 2022. Jockey Neil Callan received this for the Flat season that year. As a result, he wore the betting brand’s logo on his riding gear. At the same time, he kept a blog updated throughout the 2022 season as part of the deal.

Before that, the 888 brand was on display during Cheltenham Races in 2021. The two-day Cheltenham Showcase saw 888 become its official betting partner. This saw the betting brand sponsor the What’s Your Thinking Novices Hurdle first. It also sponsored the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase. The final two links were to the handicap Chase and the feature event.

It also sponsored the Tingle Creek Chase in 2014, and had a stand named after it in 2010 at Fontwell Park.


Much of the sponsorship activity for 888Sport has been in the realm of football, though. In 2016, it became the shirt sponsor for four Championship teams at once. That was the first time this had ever occurred.

888Sport also said it would pay for fans to travel to away games until Christmas that year. Birmingham City, Brentwood, Nottingham Forest, and Preston North End all got to experience this. Other teams it has sponsored in the past include Sevilla FC and Middlesbrough FC. The 2022 to 2023 season saw it sponsor RB Leipzig.

Santiago Cañizares and Ian Wright, both former footballers, also became ambassadors for 888Sport. The former in 2011 and the latter in 2012.


The National Football League (NFL) has made waves in the UK in recent times. 888Sport can consider itself responsible in part for this. In 2020, it became the official betting partner of the league. That deal was also recently extended to continue running until at least 2025.

Between 2018 and 2019, it had also sponsored the New York Jets. This was the first online operator deal of its kind between an NFL team and the betting brand. That deal saw branding on display during all Jets games.


Sport Sponsoring Years Cost
Football Middlesbrough FC 2022 – 2023 Unknown
Charleroi S.C. 2021 – 2023 Unknown
2020 – 2032 $200 Million
Rangers 2020 – 2024 £1.5 Million
Club Brugge 2019 – 2023 Unknown
Dinamo Bucharest 2018 – 2021 Unknown
Aston Villa 2017 – 2019 Unknown
FC Copenhagen 2012 – 2021 Unknown
Valencia 2009 – 2011 £6 Million
NFL Philadelphia Eagles 2019 – 2025 Unknown
Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 – ???? Unknown
Rugby League Sydney Roosters 2017 – 2021 Unknown
Chess Magnus Carlsen 2020 – 2024 Unknown
Offerspill 2020 – 2024 Unknown
Horse Racing Unibet Tolworth Day 2019 – ???? Unknown
Unibet Champion Hurdle 2018 – ???? Unknown

For those who don’t know, Unibet is a part of the Kindred Group. That is an online gambling operator, consisting of 11 brands. The Unibet website first launched in 1999, with live betting coming along in 2003. Its mobile site opened in 2004.

It didn’t take long for Unibet to expand, and it did so at a rapid rate. So much so that it saw itself listed on the Swedish Stock Exchange. The rapid expansion also allowed it to get involved in a variety of sponsorship deals. This surrounds a wide range of sports teams and events both in the UK and abroad.


Unibet has sponsored a great selection of football teams and leagues over the years. Dating way back to 2009, it began with sponsoring Spanish team Valencia in a deal worth around £6 million. Other foreign teams to have had the Unibet logo on their kit include:

  • FC Copenhagen
  • Dinamo Bucharest
  • Club Brugge
  • Charleroi S.C.
  • AFC Ajax

It has also sponsored more local teams, including Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Rangers.

In 2018, it paid an estimated $200 million to replace Svenska Spel as the title sponsor of the top tiers of Swedish soccer. Beginning on January 1, 2020, it partnered with Allsvenskan and Superettan. The terms of the deal mean that $16.7 million will go to the SEF on an annual basis. $11.1 million gets distributed between the clubs in the two leagues.


The company also entered into the NFL, sponsoring the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019. The deal runs until the 2024/25 season. It sees Unibet remain as the team’s official casino and sportsbook partner. The betting brand gets a dedicated ‘Unibet Landing’ location at the Lincoln Financial Field. This hosts fan activations during the year.

It also brought a second NFL team into the fold in 2021 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. That deal includes digital collaboration across social media and sweepstakes for fans to enter. The duo also collaborates to support the local community.


The sport of chess isn’t often brought up by many sportsbooks. Yet Unibet entered into a deal with Magnus Carlsen in 2020. It was at the same time that the brand sponsored his chess club, Offerspill.

The deal with both Carlsen and Offerspill were both extended to 2024 last year. Both sponsorships seek to support and promote the Unibet/Kindred 0% revenue from harmful gambling by 2023.

Horse Racing

There have been many horse races and trophies sponsored by Unibet through the years. The Unibet Tolworth Day and Unibet Champion Hurdle stand out as two of these. The former is one of the top novice hurdle races of the season.

It is often won by a horse who goes on to Cheltenham Festival success, too. The latter is the premier two-mile hurdle race in the world. Unibet has sponsored it since 2018.

How Has Sports Betting Sponsorship Changed?

ban red circle with line throughOver the past decade or two, sponsorship of sports by betting companies has grown considerably. There have been more teams and clubs sponsored by gambling firms than ever before. Could that be about to change, though? A little earlier in 2023, a new gambling reform white paper launched. This detailed potential plans for the UK gambling industry. Not too long before that, the Premier League said it would ban all gambling firms from front-of-shirt sponsorship. That is due to occur from the summer of 2026.

As things stand now, eight of the 20 Premier League clubs are sponsored by such firms at the moment. Those deals are worth £60 million per year, in total. This means that teams like Everton, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham, amongst others, will need to broker new deals with alternate companies. It’s very much possible that they can do this, too. The most valuable sponsorship deals currently for Premier League clubs are those of Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham. They have partnerships with Standard Chartered (banking), TeamViewer (technology) and AIA (insurance/finance), respectively.

Yet will this have such a major impact? Well, while the tightening of gambling laws could mean that other sports have to follow suit in the UK, it may not be all bad. More and more betting firms are getting involved in the U.S. scene, with sponsorships of NFL, NBA, NHL and other teams. As the UK market strengthens its legislation, things are still opening up in a grander way across the seas. This could be where these firms recoup their potential losses if they are no longer able to sponsor UK teams.

Not all is lost in the UK, though. Other than Premier League football, there are alternate avenues to take. The country is home to many sports. Could we see more gambling companies sponsoring tennis or golf or options like cycling and rugby. Maybe the eSports scene will become even bigger in the UK, giving these brands another route. There is little doubt that the future remains at least relatively bright for the sports betting sponsorship scene.