Everton have agreed a club-record shirt sponsorship deal with gaming company Stake.com.
The Blues have entered into a “multi-year” deal with the company, which describes itself as an online casino and bookmaker. The length and size of the contract have not been disclosed, but Everton say it is the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in the club’s history. ECHO understands that the increase in the deal with outgoing sponsor Cazoo, the online car retailer, is significant and runs into the millions of pounds.
Confirmation of deal with Stake.com comes amid scrutiny of jersey sponsorships with gaming companies and just over two years after chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale agreed at a town hall annual general of the club that “in an ideal world”, Everton would have a different type of sponsor than a gambling company.
At that meeting, Professor Barrett-Baxendale added that the club’s approach would still be a “business decision”, however, and Everton agreed a deal with another games company as recently as December.
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Everton turned down an extension to their two-year deal with Cazoo following talks at the end of 2021 as officials sought to find a more lucrative partnership. The club activated a break clause in the contract, which was initially valued at around £9.6m a year. The two-year contract ends at the end of this month.
The club have reportedly taken a pragmatic approach as they try to extract maximum value from their partners, an effort led by an expansion of their commercial department, which has hubs in London and the United States as well as Liverpool. The club’s trade deals were impacted earlier this year with the suspension of deals with USM after owner Alisher Usmanov was sanctioned for his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine .
Stake.com, which was established in 2017 and says on its website that it then became the “world’s largest cryptocurrency casino and sportsbook”, will sponsor the game shirts of the men’s and women’s teams of Everton, and its brand will appear at Goodison Park and Finch Farm. ECHO understands that the Stake.com partnership holds record value for Everton both annually and cumulatively. The conclusion of the arrangement paves the way for progress on new Everton kits, although their release is still likely to be weeks away.
Welcoming the deal, Professor Barrett-Baxendale said: “Stake.com is an ambitious organization with impressive growth plans and we are all very excited to partner with them at this stage in their journey. My talented colleagues in our new revenue team have made excellent progress over the past few months and have worked tirelessly to complete what is the biggest main partnership deal in the club’s history – I would like to congratulate them on this achievement. and, on behalf of everyone at the club, express my gratitude to Stake.com for choosing Everton as their long-term partner. Finally, I’m happy to say that we have already worked with Stake.com on some exciting activities and content for our local and international supporters and we look forward to sharing more details about those plans soon.
This isn’t Stake.com’s first involvement in the Premier League – the company’s logo was on the front of Watford shirts last season. The Vicarage Road side also agreed a ‘multi-year’ deal with Stake.com but were relegated, meaning Everton will be the only top-flight side with the company’s logo on their shirts. The company has deals in other sports around the world, including partnerships with the UFC.
Speaking in January 2020, Professor Barrett-Baxendale said that “in an ideal world” the club would have a different type of sponsor than a gambling company. His words came after a growing number of supporters expressed concern over the deal with betting company SportPesa while the club’s official charity, Everton in the Community, helped people with addiction problems. .
At the time, she was quoted as saying: “In an ideal world we would look to have a different kind of sponsor on the front of our shirts as all football clubs would, but that’s a business decision we make in as a football club.. SportPesa have actually been a fantastic partner to Everton Football Club in terms of the funds they have donated to support Everton in the community but I agree it is a responsible bet. can’t prevent people from making a choice, but we certainly don’t want to be responsible for conducting irresponsible betting.”
Stake.com is regulated in Britain by the Gambling Commission. The company is registered at an address in the Isle of Man. Last season, 10 Premier League clubs had betting companies as their main shirt sponsor.
Commenting on the deal, Akhil Sarin, Head of Acquisitions for Stake.com, said: “We are incredibly proud to partner with Everton, a club steeped in tradition and with a passionate and loyal fan base respected around the world. “Everton are a club that perfectly complements our own growth ambitions as we seek to expand our global presence and strengthen our portfolio of top-tier sporting sponsorship. It’s a huge honor for everyone at Stake.” .com to join the Everton family and play our part in supporting the club in the transition to the new stadium.We look forward to celebrating this most exciting chapter in the club’s history with Evertonians everywhere.
Everton launched a new connection with a game company as recently as December, entering into a commercial agreement with i8.BET, which became the club’s “official exclusive betting partner in Asia”.
The details of the deal with Stake.com come at a time when the role of gaming companies in football is coming under intense scrutiny. The government launched a review of gambling laws in December 2020 and draft proposals are expected to be published in the coming weeks. Reports have suggested the issue of gaming companies sponsoring Premier League club shirts could feature, although details of any recommendations are yet to be confirmed.
The House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry has previously stated: “Gambling operators should no longer be allowed to advertise on sports team shirts or any other part of their kit. There should be no gambling advertising in or near sports fields or sports venues, including sports programmes.”
The government replied: “To date, the government did not see evidence demonstrating a causal link between exposure to operator logos in this context and problem gambling in children or adults. Nor have we seen evidence that a familiarity with operator logos is linked to problem gambling.”