Is Premiership Advertising on Shirts Defeating the Purpose of Preventative Legislation?

Lee R. - March 18, 2020

With not all advertisers operating under the same regulatory guidelines, the Premiere League operator sponsorships are getting confusing, if not dangerous.

Match betting has become virtually synonymous with the Premiere League engagement experience for today's fan in the UK.

Ads on over Half of Jerseys

At the start of the 2019-2020 season, half of English Premiere Division clubs were sponsored by online betting companies and bookmakers, with over half sponsored in the next division downwards, positioning gaming products with football teams more than ever before.

Issues Arise

While all remains good in love and advertising war, the practice of selling services to the highest bidder when it comes to gambling sponsors has some delicate and potentially controversial components that need to be cleaned up at some point in an industry whose global value is approaching $50b.

Multiple Jurisdictions Advertising

The first issue is that not all companies operate under the same laws as UK jurisdiction, with foreign companies investing millions of pounds in advertising to display their logos on English uniforms to audiences outside the UK.

Getting Worse

The conflict between regulatory guidelines is palpable, and with more and more countries regulating, and more and more operators entering into multiple jurisdictions globally, the guidelines for advertising in the UK have to be tailored to prevent violations in the other jurisdictions who advertise in the Premiereship as well.

Uniformity Challenge

UK guidelines are rapidly transforming and adapting, so you have a quagmire of applicable laws when it comes to foreign operators advertising in the Premiereship in need of uniform application as well as governance.

Recent Adaptations Nullified

Recent examples of a protective adaptation in UK advertising include the prohibition a few years back against further “in play odds” being advertised during football matches to prevent temptation of viewers into an impulsive bet. Gambling companies subsequently agreed to stop advertising during games, immediately before kick-off, and immediately after games ended--rendered moot of course when gambling logos were then placed on the shirt of one or both of the teams during the contests.


With vulnerable adults and innocent and impressionable youth among football viewers, there is clearly going to be some blowback legislation to limit the visibility of betting and gambling products during games in the UK, but as of now the logos remain on uniforms in Britain's top two professional leagues, palpably standing out both aesthetically and symbolically.


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