Gambling sponsors appear to be making a mini-comeback in football sponsorship after recording the joint-third biggest rise over the last year for front-of-shirt placements.
Sponsorship and commercial intelligence company Caytoo analysed front-of-shirt sponsors across 226 leading English football, rugby and cricket teams and found gambling now accounts for nearly one in 10 (9.2%) of all front-of-shirt sponsorships. Gambling is second only to automotive in the overall table across English football, rugby and cricket.
Last year the gambling sector pulled back from these sponsorships, taking their share from 15.3% to 8.0%.
The top-five sectors across the three sports were automotive, gambling, retail, manufacturing/engineering and professional services constituting 42.1% of sponsors, this is an increase on 2021 showing more concentration in specific sectors.
Manufacturing/engineering sector saw the biggest increase in the number of front-of-shirt sponsorships, up from 4.9% from a year ago to 7.5%, followed by retail which grew from 6.7% to 8.8%.
Professional Services was a new entrant in to the top 10 but Financial Services dropped from second most prevalent sector in 2021 to fifth in 2022. Alcohol and Consumer Goods were also down compared to a year ago.
Dafabet, Seat Unique and Utilita are the most prevalent individual sponsors with four sponsorships each, followed by Cinch, Knight Frankk, Stake, John Pye Auctions, Morgan, Kia and Uptonsteel with three respectively.
In English football, men’s football had 92 sponsors and women’s 12. Men’s rugby had 37 sponsors and women’s had 22, while men’s cricket had 55 sponsors and women’s cricket had 9.
Gambling held the highest share of football sponsorship with 15.4%, while automotive-led cricket sponsorships with 17.7% share and manufacturing/engineering and retail shared top spot for rugby with 13.3%.