- English Premier League entrant Southampton Football Club has renewed their partnership with the Coingaming Group for another three years.
- The Coingaming Group’s Sportsbet.io brand will continue as Southampton’s front of shirt sponsor.
- The Estonia based Coingaming Group operates several cryptocurrency based gaming platforms including Bitcasino.io and Sportsbet.io.
Southampton FC of the English Premier League might be in the bottom half of the standings at the moment but when it comes to sponsorships they’re definitely on the ‘cutting edge’. They figure there’s no place better to be than at the intersection of sports betting and cryptocurrency which is why they’ve decided to re-up with main team sponsor Coingaming Group for another three years.
The team–collectively known to their backers as ‘The Saints’–will also continue with Coingaming Group brand Sportsbet.io as their front of shirt sponsor. The relationship would be very similar to any other of the countless sponsorship deals in the sports betting space were it not for the cryptocurrency component. This is where it gets interesting–like this tidbit about the club having the option to be paid in BTC for certain performance based bonuses:
The deal is the biggest sponsorship agreement in the club’s history and also includes the option for the club to be paid certain performance-based bonuses in Bitcoin at the end of each season, allowing the club the opportunity to take advantage of the new, high-growth currency if it feels it will bring significant future benefits.
The Coingaming Group is based in the red-hot tech center of Estonia with offices in Ukraine, Australia, Brazil and Malaysia. They were early on the crypto bandwagon establishing their business in 2014 as primarily a B-to-B platform provider. They established their standalone sportsbook–Sportsbet.io–in 2016. In the press release announcing the extended partnership deal Southampton Football Club’s Chief Commercial Officer, David Thomas spoke effusively of the team at Coingaming/Sportsbet.io:
“The team at Sportsbet.io have built a successful business by challenging convention and disrupting the market, but in a responsible way, and their approach to our partnership with them has been no different.”
“In a short timeframe they’ve proven to be innovative, forward thinking and extremely supportive of the club, our fans and the wider community, and we’ve welcomed the opportunity to develop and promote safe gambling messages together. As such they have become valued partners and we look forward to the next chapter together”
CEO of the Coingaming Group Maarja Pärt, is equally as pleased to be continuing with Southampton:
“Our first season as Southampton FC’s Main Club Partner has already exceeded all expectations. We’ve been inspired by the passion of the club and its fans, and it was an easy decision for us to extend our partnership with the Saints for another three years.”
“From the beginning, Southampton have been a perfect match for the fun, fast and fair way we do things at Sportsbet.io. We can’t wait to continue this journey with the Saints, and we’ll be doing everything we can to support the team and its community into the future.”
The Coingroup/Sportbet.io partnership solidified what look to be a potentially tenuous sponsorship situation for Southampton. The EPL side made the decision in August to terminate what was expected to be a three year deal with Chinese company LD Sports–despite not having a clear indication what exactly the company did when they signed on. When the team originally announced the deal in May 2020 it described LD Sports as a “new sports content, marketing and entertainment platform’. When the team cancelled the deal later that year the tone was completely different:
“Over the last week, we have endeavoured to secure confirmation that LD Sports are still an appropriate and viable partner for the club but have been left with no alternative other than to end the partnership today with immediate effect.”
“The club has also taken the difficult decision to temporarily halt all sales of home, away and third kits. Fans who have already purchased a 20-21 home, away or third shirt with LD Sports on the front are kindly asked for their patience and understanding at this time whilst the club resolves what is an extremely complex situation and sources a solution for updating their shirts.”
Eventually, Southampton received the full £6.5million payment for the first season from LD Sports it wasn’t easy with one team official suggesting that they had to pursue their former sponsors ‘to the end of the earth’ to get them to make good on the deal.