Cinching a new partnership
English Premier League (EPL) club Crystal Palace is replacing gambling sponsor W88 with Cinch as its primary kit sponsor next season.
teams have been under pressure from critics and lawmakers to abandon gambling partners
The club’s decision casts a shadowy picture on an already-ominous future of gambling sponsorships in the league. Teams have been under pressure from critics and lawmakers to abandon gambling partners, due to growing problems such as addiction.
Palace’s new jersey front will be emblazoned with Cinch, a rapidly-growing online car marketplace. Removing W88 from shirts will bring the number of gambling-advertised teams in the EPL to eight of the 20 total, although Spreadex Sports-sponsored Burnley has been relegated and will also be leaving the league.
Reading the tea leaves
Lobbyists have been cranking up the pressure on teams in the fight against gambling pervasiveness. Twenty English Football League Championship (EFL) and non-league teams also recently banded together to further the argument, sending a petition to lawmakers to ban betting sponsors.
The team owners represented by the letter noted the harmful effects of betting as the primary reason for their opinion.
witnessed the harmful growth of gambling sponsorship and advertising in soccer”
“As owners, directors, and executives responsible for our clubs, we have witnessed the harmful growth of gambling sponsorship and advertising in soccer, including the negative impact on our fans,” reads the petition. “A ban on gambling logos on shirts would be a significant acceptance of the harm caused, but we would encourage you to include all gambling advertising in stadiums and competition sponsorship so every young fan can go to any soccer match – home and away – free of inducements to gamble.”
League champion Manchester City also faced a lot of pressure recently for its partnership with MarathonBet, a Russian-based gambling company that was forced to suspend its UK operations after the invasion of Ukraine.
The increasing pressure likely weighed on the Eagles during their decision-making process despite the government not reaching an announcement.
Checking the Crystal ball
The multi-year deal will give Cinch access to the front of Palace’s jerseys, as well as primary advertising on the team’s website. Cinch will also receive “significant brand exposure” with the academy teams, Selhurst Park, Palace’s home stadium, and digital content.
Cinch is a well-established, family-friendly and instantly recognizable brand across the UK”
“Cinch is a well-established, family-friendly, and instantly recognizable brand across the UK and beyond, and this landmark partnership is yet another statement of progress at the club, both on and off the field,” said Barry Webber, commercial director at Crystal Palace. “This is an incredibly exciting time for our partnership to begin, as we enter our 10th successive season in the Premier League with a squad packed full of international talent.”
The recent season was a productive one for Crystal Palace; the club finished 12th in the EPL, its highest finish in the last three seasons. It also only lost 12 times, its lowest total in the Premier League era and fewest in the top division since the 1990-91 season.
Avril Palmer-Baunack, Chair of Constellation Automotive Group, which owns Cinch, is thrilled to partner with an ascending team.
“We look forward to working with the teams, fans and local community and have high hopes for the club next season on absolutely cinching it.”