License: Pexels, Free to use, Author: Tembela Bohle
Aston Villa Football Club has entered into a multi-year shirt sponsorship agreement with Asia-facing operator BK8, despite the impending ban on such deals in the English Premier League.
The three-year deal will see BK8's branding displayed on the front of Aston Villa players' shirts until the end of the 2025-26 season. As part of the sponsorship, BK8 will engage in various brand activations and benefit from advertising opportunities at Villa Park, the team's home stadium. These advertising assets will be used by charitable organizations to promote their messages.
The partnership also includes a charitable component, where BK8 will make a contribution to a local charity for every adult third shirt sold.
BK8 EMEA Managing Director, Michael Gatt, expressed the brand's commitment to giving back to supporters and working closely with local community initiatives. The company aims to deliver on its ambitions in this area by implementing programs that engage with supporters both locally and globally.
A spokesperson for Aston Villa expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, anticipating exciting opportunities to grow both brands, particularly within Southeast Asia.
It's worth noting that this sponsorship deal comes despite Premier League clubs collectively agreeing in April to cease gambling sponsorships on the front of matchday shirts. The ban will take effect after the 2025-26 season, allowing existing sponsorship agreements with operators to remain until that time. The Premier League also expressed its intention to develop a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship across the professional sports sector, potentially involving collaboration with other sports.
In a related development, Newcastle United recently downgraded its deal with offshore gaming operator Fun88, which had been the team's principal partner since the 2017-18 season. Fun88 will now shift its focus to driving the club's growth in Asia.