Premier League sponsorships are very much a double-edged sword, helping to generate huge amounts of income for clubs while boosting the profile of the respective brands.
The landscape has changed greatly since the league was founded back in 1992. The alcohol industry was heavily involved in the early stages, with financial services becoming much more prominent after the turn of the century.
Over the past few years, there has been a huge shift towards gambling brands, with over 50 different companies now linked with professional clubs in England and Wales.
In the Premier League, almost half of the clubs have their shirts branded with a betting company like 888sport as their main sponsor.
Shirt sponsorship in the top flight featuring gambling brands is estimated to be worth around £50 million this season.
While the investment is clearly great news for the clubs, the betting brands also benefit greatly from the increased exposure.
According to research conducted by Nielsen Sports, brands appearing on the front of club jerseys in the Championship can expect to see a global TV media ‘Return On Investment’ of between 2:1 to 5:1.
With the Premier League attracting a much bigger audience, it is likely that those figures would at least be replicated or even bettered in the top flight.
Collaboration between the clubs and the betting brands is the key to a successful partnership.
By working with the rights holder to engage fans, create and serve content, brands can reach fans of their sponsored club and from further afield.
The creation of relevant content is also crucial to engagement with fans. Match previews, expert tips, social media and special offers are amongst the elements that help to attract fans to a particular betting brand.
Companies like 888sport, Paddy Power, SkyBet and others have increased awareness of their brands through their involvement in football.
Tailoring content on blogs and social media platforms, providing free away travel or producing supporter-led video content are amongst the ideas that have helped to build the relationship between sponsors and fans.
Football clubs effectively offer a direct route to a captive audience, making betting companies ideal sponsors for clubs.
More brands are expected to join the party over the next few years as they bid to increase their customer database through their link-ups with football clubs.
The international appeal that the Premier League holds means there will continue to be a clamour amongst betting companies to have their name promoted around the world.