By Tim Poole
A sports betting panel on gambling sponsorship has praised this summer’s unique marketing campaigns from Flutter Entertainment and GVC Holdings.
Paddy Power, a Flutter brand, "unsponsored" a number of UK football teams as part of its "Save our Shirt" series, while GVC donated multiple football sponsorships to charity.
However, Paddy Power's campaign inevitably generated plenty of PR and brand awareness, while GVC-owned Bwin was quick to extend its sponsorship of Valencia in Spain despite the parent company's push for an end to UK sponsorships.
When asked by Gambling Insider if these strategies were disingenuous in nature, the panel agreed they are "totally self-serving" – but are a clever way of addressing the issue.
Rory Anderson, 12Bet Consultant, said: "Totally self-serving, we see that. It’s how you do it and I think Paddy Power have been really clever. They’ve positioned themselves as a brand that has values."
Conleth Byrne, OnePoint Managing Director, added: "For me, the GVC thing is actually quite clever. The problem is we live in a world where any kind of clever marketing will be criticised because it promotes gambling.
"We live in a strange world where you’re trying to grow your business but you’re not allowed to promote it to anyone. So it’s quite a tricky line to hit.
"But you’re right, it is disingenuous, because you need a little bit of honesty. GVC have said they are being socially responsible and then signed a deal with Valencia the following week. The timing wasn’t very good because it takes away from the positivity of the first announcement."
Click here to read Gambling Insider's in-depth analysis on the topic from July.