Aston Villa, of English soccer’s Premier League, have today (June 22) unveiled Asian online betting company BK8 Sports as their new shirt sponsor under a three-year deal.
The agreement, brokered on behalf of BK8 by Singapore-based sports marketing agency Outlast Sports Entertainment, will see the company’s branding feature on the front of the club’s shirts until the end of the 2025-26 season.
BK8 replaces UK online car retailer Cazoo which was Villa’s front-of-shirt sponsor since the 2020-21 campaign. Before that, Asian betting company W88 held the position under a one-year agreement.
GlobalData Sport understands the value of the new deal is a significant increase on the Birmingham-based club’s contract with Cazoo.
Villa's return to a betting sponsor comes despite Premier League clubs recently voting to voluntarily ban front-of-shirt sponsorship deals with betting companies from the end of the 2025-26 season.
Chelsea supporters recently voiced strong opposition to the club’s proposed new shirt sponsorship deal with crypto casino and sports betting platform Stake.com.
As part of its deal with the Midlands club, BK8 will make a financial contribution for each sale of Villa’s third kit to a local charity in the city.
BK8 will also invest in several brand activations across the course of the partnership. The deal also includes various advertising opportunities including advertising assets at Villa Park, which will be given to charity organizations to display promotional messages throughout the season.
The betting brand had a presence in English soccer last season through partnerships with Crystal Palace, Burnley, and Huddersfield Town. It has also previously sponsored clubs in Spain’s LaLiga.
In 2021, however, Norwich City ditched a controversial sponsorship deal with BK8 after concerns it conflicted with the team's principles.
The contract was dissolved with immediate effect after fans revealed the betting company had sexualized images of young women in its social media promotions.
Such content would have been banned by the UK Advertising Standards Agency.
Meanwhile, Spanish LaLiga club Valencia have today also replaced Cazoo as their principal shirt sponsor after agreeing a deal with TM Real Estate.
From the start of the 2023-24 season, TM Real Estate's logo will be present on the front of the match shirts worn by the men's first and second teams, the women's side, and the VCF Academy teams, both male and female, in addition to the training kits and the physical and digital assets of the club.
The company will also serve as the team's real estate partner.
Cazoo signed a multi-year deal with Valencia from the start of the 2022-23 season but had been seeking to terminate the contract after opting to scale back its partnerships in continental Europe since last September.
The club, however, won a court battle preventing Cazoo from canceling the sponsorship agreement.
According to reports, Cazoo tried to use the ongoing racism row surrounding Valencia to again back out of the deal, claiming the incident had harmed its corporate image and issued a legal letter to the team.
It is now believed Cazoo has settled to pay out €1 million ($1.1 million) for the remaining year’s contract, instead of the original €4 million.
The agreement with TM Real Estate represents Valencia's third shirt sponsor in as many seasons.