In recent times, football has been generating a lot of revenue through its commercial relationships with sports betting and gaming companies. However, these deals are now set to come to an end, and this has opened the door for other sports to capitalise, with rugby league one of them.
Rugby league, which is one of the most popular sports in the UK and beyond, has, like many others, relied on sponsorship arrangements to bring revenue into the game. The income generated is then pumped back into the sport at all levels, with the aim being to keep improving things as time goes on. And, you don’t have to look too far back to see that rugby league itself has been backed by sports betting operators on multiple occasions. So, it makes sense for the industry to keep a watchful eye on proceedings in football.
It’s worth noting that, at the time of writing, rugby league outfits themselves are considering their next move where sponsorship practices are concerned in relation to gambling companies as partners. But, with nothing set in stone, gaming brands may still be a viable option in the short term. And it’s a case of vice versa, as operators themselves must adjust to the new rules and regulations, as we have seen via comments from PartyCasino’s roulette team recently.
There is no doubt that rugby league, and more specifically the Super League, have significantly benefitted from the income that sponsorship agreements with sports betting and online gaming companies have brought into the sport. And they continue to do so, with the organisation announcing an extension to their ongoing agreement with Betfred for a further two years just six months ago.
So, while there will be a blanket ban coming up in football, it’s not currently the case where rugby league is concerned. And this presents the opportunity to strike while the iron’s hot. Yes, things may change in future, with organisations and teams reviewing their situations all the time. However, right now, the likes of Castleford Tigers, St Helens and Wigan Warriors are free to do business with whoever they like.
Again, it could lead to another scenario where rugby league follows football’s lead and its blueprint for commercial success if there is a blanket ban on dealing with sports betting and gaming operators in the future. Football clubs are currently looking at new sponsorship avenues that will allow them to say within the rules while generating the revenue required. And the paths they walk down could work for rugby league, as that has been the case previously.
And, let’s face it, rugby league and its teams thrived for years before arrangements with the likes of Betfred were struck. In fact, they actually turned down an approach from Betfair years before the Betfred deal, so they could always go back to what worked previously, as there are likely many companies who want to get involved with the sport.