They may be an unfamiliar name to many but the Smarkets betting exchange has been around since 2008 and that’s a relatively long time in the gambling industry. Perhaps one of the reasons why they have yet to really filter into the public conscience is a lack of brand awareness but that could be about to change thanks to a lucrative development on the sporting front.
In June 2016, Smarkets announced a shirt sponsorship deal with English Championship side Queens Park Rangers which will see their name on the front of all their kits – home, away and third. The deal is currently set for the 2016-17 season only and follows on from the previous campaign when the exchange were official betting partners to the West London club.
That previous contract also saw the Smarkets name on the training kit and on the back of playing shirts and shorts while one section of the Loftus Road ground was renamed the Smarkets Stand. These were all positive moves but the switch to the front will surely gain greater exposure.
The contract may only be for one year at this stage but Queens Park Rangers are an ambitious club who are looking for a quick return to top flight football in England’s Premier League. Their games should receive plenty of live TV coverage from the satellite broadcasters over the course of 2016-17 and it then makes sense for both parties to review the contract.
If QPR were to get promoted back to the EPL, the revenue involved will be much greater so potentially, it would cost more for a shirt sponsor to come on board. However, if they were to stay in the Championship beyond next season, the existing deal could conceivably remain unchanged.
But that’s for the future: for now, both parties are happy to sign up for what will hopefully be a successful season.
We are absolutely delighted that Smarkets have upgraded from their designation from last season to become our lead partner for the 2016/17 season,
said QPR’s Commercial Director Euan Inglis.
In turn, Smarkets’ CEO Jason Trost confirmed,
We look forward to the new campaign with a club that shares our aspirations and places its supporters at the heart of the action.
This is Smarkets first ever sponsorship deal so it’s an important one in terms of their growth and it will be fascinating to see if it is extended beyond this season or if the exchange continues to look around for additional clubs to back.
If you’re a customer at Smarkets then, as part of the deal, you can enjoy 0% commission when you stake in any game that involves Queens Park Rangers for the whole of the 2016-17 campaign. That’s a good benefit to have whether you’re a recreational or a season exchange punter and it’s one that will also tempt in many Rangers fans who want to have a one-off bet on their team. The standard rate of commission here is usually set at a flat 2% so that could be a definite money saver.
Tickets to QPR games and other prizes will be up for grabs and as the new season gets underway, Smarkets will have a dedicated web page giving details of all the benefits that fans and customers can enjoy.
While Queens Park Rangers weren’t able to secure an immediate return to the Premier League last season, the influence of Smarkets’ original betting partner deal brought healthy funds into the club that allowed the board to strengthen the playing staff. For 2016-17, that arrangement has been enhanced with the exchange’s logo now appearing on the front of all three playing kits. It’s great exposure for the operator, and the club and their fans will now hope that the established partnership will soon see them back among the elite of English football.