The Isle of Man-based Internet sportsbetting firm 188Bet has agreed to sponsor not one, but two Premier League football teams in deals signed this week with Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic.
188Bet logos will appear on the shirts of both clubs next season.
The agreement with Wigan Athletic is for two years and will see 188Bet replace previous sponsor JJB – a sports retail chain. Dave Whelan, the owner of Wigan Athletic said he was pleased to have attracted a sponsor with the global reach that 188Bet afforded.
"This record agreement will enable Wigan Athletic to further build its profile internationally as well as introducing 188Bet to the UK market," he said. "We look forward to working together to develop the partnership both on and off the pitch.”
Bolton Wanderer's long-time sponsor Reebok's relocation elsewhere in the UK has resulted in the end of its agreements with Bolton, opening the way for 188Bet's second sponsorship deal, although a spokesperson for the team confirmed that Reebok would contine as the naming-rights partner for the team’s Reebok Stadium until at least 2016.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic, both of whom offer 188Bet significant brand exposure in the world's greatest football league,' said Andy Scott, the company's CEO.
"We have ambitious plans to develop our brand across Europe over the next two years and are excited about working with our new partners to drive this forward."
Other Premier League teams currently sponsored by an online gambling operator include Wolverhampton Wanderers, who inked a deal last month with Sportingbet, and Tottenham Hotspurs, which has an agreement with Mansion.com. SBOBet.com is the current shirt sponsor of West Ham United while Bet24, 888 and 32Red have all signed sponsorship deals in the past with Premier League clubs.