As a company based in Stoke, it’s good to see bet365 getting behind the local team and backing them with a lucrative sponsorship deal. The bookmaker was founded in 2000 and for much of their existence they have been involved with Stoke City in some form.
Things are a little different here, however, as Peter Coates – co-founder of the bookmaker is the Chairman. Bet365 actually own this club so you’d expect them to be very visual across their home stadium.
Bet365 have seen their club win promotion into the Premiership and Potters fans will hope that a brand new deal can help take them to the next step in the league ladder.
The New Deal
If you’ve watched any live football from England’s Premier League then you will have noticed that bet365 have been emblazoned across Stoke’s shirts for some time. It’s almost inconceivable that another name would appear there and that won’t happen for another three years at least.
In the new deal, announced in April 2016, the existing shirt sponsorship arrangement was extended so the bookies’ logo will appear on those shirts until the end of the 2018/19 season at the very least. But the news got better for the club’s supporters as it was confirmed that bet365 have also picked up Naming Rights for Stoke’s Britannia Stadium.
From 2016/17 onwards, the ground will now be known as the bet365 Stadium and the cash that has been injected via the deal will see building work to begin which will allow Stoke City to increase their ground capacity to 30,000 by the start of the 2017/18 campaign.
Moving in the Right Direction
When bet365 started life back in 2000, Stoke City football club was at a low ebb. They were playing in the third tier of English football and although there were board changes and stadium moves around that time, there seemed to be no sign that the club would be playing Premier League football in the short to mid-term future.
Changes of ownership finally saw the club land in the hands of bet365 co-founder Peter Coates. The bookmaker had been established in the Potteries in 2000 and Coates took over the reins at Stoke during the 2005-06 campaign. Bet365 invested in the club and with some shrewd player purchases, they were in the Premier League for the first time just two years later.
The Next Step
Bet365 continued as main sponsor and betting partner of the club for a number of years and prior to the April 2016 announcement, 2012 saw a three year shirt deal announced. You may think that it would be inevitable that bet365 would appear on the team kit but as Chief Executive Tony Scholes confirmed at the time, it was the highest offer from a number of bidders.
In the years that Stoke City have played in the Premier League, the club has generally been in the top half of the table and after reaching the FA Cup final in 2011, they entered into European competition.
They have consolidated their position since but feel it’s time to take things a stage further and the club are hoping that the new arrangement with bet365 will help them into the next phase.
The Premier League is constantly evolving and to ensure that Stoke City remain as competitive as possible it’s important we explore as many ways as possible of generating revenue
said Tony Scholes.
The Premier League is watched around the world and bet365 are a truly global company.
The bookmaking industry will always have its critics but the story of Stoke and bet365 is actually quite a heart-warming one. In 16 years they have grown to become the biggest employer in the area and since 2005-06, they have been firmly behind their local club as Stoke City went from strength to strength.
The new deal, which involves shirt sponsorship and naming rights, is intended to take the club to the next level and many neutrals will sincerely hope that they get there.