Chelsea Football Club is reportedly on the brink of finalising a deal with online casino, Stake, as the new front-of-shirt sponsor in a strategic one-year contract. Despite potential controversy surrounding this decision, it does adhere to Premier League rules, which allow partnerships with betting firms until the conclusion of the 2025/26 season.
Pragmatism at the Heart of the Blues’ Decision
This is viewed as a shrewd move by the London-based club, following the cessation of its previous sponsorship with telecommunications giant, Three. With the club failing to secure a spot in the next season’s Champions League, this short-term deal opens the opportunity for Chelsea to renegotiate another more lucrative sponsorship agreement should they make a quick return to Europe’s premier club competition.
According to the Telegraph, it has been rumoured that Chelsea engaged in discussions with a cryptocurrency company for a sponsorship deal, which, unfortunately, fell through.
This left the Blues needing to swiftly secure a profitable replacement. Chelsea’s prior agreement with Three was speculated to net the club around £40 million per year. Despite an offer from Allianz, Chelsea reportedly declined the deal, which would have only amounted to approximately half of Three’s deal.
While the club remains tight-lipped about the ongoing Stake negotiations, industry insiders estimate that the sponsorship contract could closely mirror the expired one with Three. Stake’s previous sponsorship ventures include a multi-year deal with Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Everton, valued at roughly £10m per year.
Implications for the iGaming Industry
The repercussions of this potential deal could be significant for the iGaming sector:
- Normalization of iGaming Partnerships: Given the prevalence of betting sponsorships in the Premier League, as demonstrated by Aston Villa’s agreement with BK8 and Brenfford’s deal with Hollywoodbets, this move by Chelsea further solidifies the iGaming industry’s position within the world of football sponsorship.
- Increased Visibility and Customer Acquisition: The partnership with a club as high-profile as Chelsea could significantly boost Stake’s visibility and potential for customer acquisition.
- Industry Regulation and Responsibility: This move also highlights the Premier League’s stand on responsible betting. Starting from the 2026/27 season, clubs, including Chelsea, have agreed to withdraw gambling sponsorships from their shirts. Chelsea, under this deal, will only offer shirts bearing the Stake logo in adult sizes, underscoring a commitment to protecting younger fans.
Football continues to be a lucrative platform for the iGaming industry. However, as regulators and society continue to question the industry’s responsibility in tackling gambling issues, these partnerships must balance financial reward with ethical obligations.