February 22 – The Scottish FA is the latest British football body to announce the end of a major betting company sponsorship.
William Hill, title sponsors of the Scottish Cup and Official Betting Partner of the Scotland National Team since 2011, will not renew its partnership at the end of the current deal that expires June 30. William Hill is also sponsor of the South Stand at Hampden Park.
The news follows on from Everton and Kenyan betting firm SportPesa cutting ties two years into a five year deal, and the English FA having dropped its deal with Ladbrokes in 2017 getting into hot water this season after the sale of FA Cup broadcast rights to Bet365 that could only be watched by Bet365 account holders.
That prompted UK regulators to promise to take a closer look at the advertising and sponsorship relationships the gaming companies have with football and a warning that football will need to wean itself off an over-reliance on betting partners.
The announcement of the William Hill and the SFA does not give a specific reason for the end of the almost 10-year partnership, though it would appear to be a friendly parting of the ways in light of the increased focus on the role of betting sponsorships in football.
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “The Scottish FA would like to thank William Hill for their investment in Scottish football over the past decade. Their sponsorship has enabled development in many aspects of the game, through the Scottish Cup, men’s national team and Hampden Park, but has also supported key initiatives such as the Hampden Sports Clinic’s mental health programme.”
Liam McKee, William Hill Head of Media and Sponsorship, simIlarly gave nothing away saying: “The Scottish Cup is a unique and vibrant competition and it has been honour to be associated with it. We would like to thank the Scottish FA for being a great partner and wish Ian Maxwell and his team the best of luck in the future.”
Ladbrokes are in the last six months of a two-year deal with the Scottish Premier League (SPFL) which was record sponsorship for the SPFL when announced, reckoned to be worth £5 million.
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