Ladbrokes won’t renew SPFL sponsorship

The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), the organizer of the top four soccer divisions in the country, is in the market for a new title sponsor after betting company Ladbrokes opted not to extend its deal beyond the current season.

Ladbrokes has been the title’s sponsor of Scotland’s four professional leagues since the 2015-16 season after the SPFL had been without a main backer for two seasons following the exit of Clydesdale Bank. However, GVC Holdings, Ladbrokes parent company, has recently announced a decision to move away from its advertising around the sport due to ‘Changing for the Bettor’ social responsibility mandate.

“We have enjoyed a very positive relationship with the SPFL and all the clubs involved and would like to thank them for their support and hard work in making this sponsorship such a success over the last few years,” said Mark Chambers, Ladbrokes’ managing director for retail.

The move comes after GVC in April announced it would not renew any advertising partnerships with football clubs, ending all shirt sponsorship and pitchside advertising deals. It has since donated its exchange betting brand Betdaq’s shirt sponsorship deal with English League One club Sunderland to the ‘Children with Cancer’ UK charity. All other football clubs sponsorship deals, alongside the SPFL sponsorship, were donated to problem gambling charity ‘GambleAware’ and its ‘Bet Regret’ awareness-raising campaign.

It will be noteworthy if the league can attract a new title sponsor from outside the betting industry given that the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup, the two other major domestic competitions, have deals with companies from the sector in William Hill and Betfred, respectively. Scotland’s two biggest clubs Celtic (Dafabet) and Rangers (32Red) also have gambling firms as their major sponsors.

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