Just in time for the season kicking off, Fulham FC revealed the design of their latest strip, along with a brand-new sponsor in the form of GrosvenorCasinos.com. The two-year deal means Grosvenor’s branding will adorn the Fulham players’ tops until 2019. Not only that, but Grosvenor Casinos will also be the Cottagers’ official betting and casino partner!
Fulham fans will see the branding at Craven Cottage undergo a bit of a refresh, with the Grosvenor logo being displayed around the park as well as on the newly installed LED screen system. Grosvenor Casinos is also looking to make it easier for Fulham supporters to travel to away games, with the launch of the hashtag #FollowFulhamAway on Twitter.
Fulham fans who buy their tickets from the official ticket office will be offered complimentary coach travel to four away games, including Leeds, Sheffield, Cardiff and Bristol. The casino selected those locations as they were judged to be the most difficult for fans to reach, especially if trains aren’t running late back to London.
The fans aren’t the only ones excited by the sponsorship deal. Casper Stylsvig, Chief Revenue Officer of Fulham FC, said:
"I am delighted to welcome grosvenorcasinos.com as Main Team Partner. We are thrilled to have a partner on board who matches our ambition of delivering a first-class service and experience and we look forward to working together."
Henry Birch, Chief Executive of The Rank Group, which owns GrosvenorCasinos.com, added:
"Grosvenorcasinos.com is delighted to be part of Fulham FC’s charge back to the Premier League as Main Team Partner. Both the Club and Grosvenor Casinos have strong brands and proud histories and we look forward to working together and supporting the Club and fans."
Despite what Chelsea or Arsenal fans might think, Fulham FC is the longest-running London-based football club, so there's a certain synergy in them teaming up with one of the UK’s longest-running casino brands. Not only does it allow Grosvenor Casinos to tap into a new army of fans through social media channels, but the association with such an established football club pushes sports betting to the foreground of Grosvenor’s markets.
Fulham will also benefit from a huge base of punters hopeful that the club can secure a top-flight finish in the EFL Championship to win promotion back to the English Premiership after relegation in 2014. It was a rocky return to the Championship, but Fulham started turning their fortunes around last season, securing a place in the play-offs after a much-needed victory against Sheffield Wednesday.
The Grosvenor sponsorship deal coincided with the launch of the season’s new strip. Designed by Adidas, it was first worn during Fulham’s friendly with Germany outfit VfL Wolfsburg. The fixture was well chosen, as the white home strip harkens back to Germany’s famous 1988 shirt with the classic three stripes running from the collar to the arm.
The black, red and yellow of the German flag has been replaced with the GrosvenorCasinos.com logo. The black away kit is even more minimalistic, removing the three stripes altogether, making something much more subdued compared to last year’s red top. Likewise, the Grosvenor Casino logo is well placed, creating a balance between promotion and flamboyance.
Fulham FC is not the only EFL Championship side to seek partnership with elite football-centered bookmakers. Aston Villa has struck a deal with sports betting site Unibet, while Nottingham Forest entered into a partnership with 888sport back in May. Earlier this year, Leeds United signed a sponsorship agreement with online casino 32Red.
Newcastle United, who managed to do what Fulham hope to this season by elevating themselves back to the English Premiership, are set to flourish with a generous sponsorship deal with the Chinese-based online gambling company Fun88. The deal, thought to be worth about £24 million over three years, is a new record for the Magpies and casts past sponsorship arrangements in the shade.
Other Premiership clubs have also been doing well from casino promotions and sponsorship. Back in 2012, Stoke City were one of the first have their shirts emblazoned with a betting company, Bet365, in a deal worth around £3.2 million. More recently, West Ham received £10 million in sponsorship money from Betway Casino.
This season, UK clubs from all leagues will earn over £281 million from shirt sponsorship and endorsements, with nine of the top 20 England clubs all displaying gambling companies, casinos, or bookmakers. Now that football season is in full swing, head to Groasvenor Casinos' sportsbook today to start betting on your favourite league!