Unibet Announced as Exclusive Betting Partner of World Chess

Unibet Announced as Exclusive Betting Partner of World Chess

World Chess announced on Tuesday they had signed their first ever betting partner.

Unibet received the honor of being the first official betting partner of World Chess in time for the FIDE World Chess Championship Match. As the exclusive partner, Unibet will have access to the full rights, advertising, branding, and the opportunity to take part in a round of the First Move Ceremony.

Ilya Merenzon, the CEO of World Chess:

“World Chess is proud to announce this exclusive partnership with Unibet. We’re enabling fans to be even closer to the action in this tantalising match. The tournament is the highlight of the chess calendar and millions of people around the world will follow every move.”

Richard Østrøm, Country Manager for Unibet Norway:

“Since Magnus Carlsen became world champion, we have seen a large and growing interest in betting on big chess tournaments. As the leading online bookmaker in Europe, we want to be a part of and contribute to big sporting events, and we are very happy to be the preferred betting partner for World Chess both before and during the World Championship. We believe that this year’s World Championship showdown between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana in London will establish chess as a permanent fixture in betting.”

The Tournament

The FIDE World Chess Championship Match will be held in London, November 9th-28th and sees Norwegian defending champion Magnus Carlsen face off against American Fabiano Caruana. Unibet has Carlsen as heavy favorite at 3/10, Caruana at 12/5.

Unibet will have a full range of bets available to punters wishing to take a chance on the upcoming title match. Bets will range from outright winner, down to a player’s next move, as well as offering fans exclusive promotions on rounds during the match.

World Chess and Unibet have also agreed to produce additional content for the tournament. The last tournament, in 2016, drew a total of 6 million viewers worldwide. With an American in the mix, it’s possible viewership will increase for this tournament. The last American to make a final was Gata Kamsky in 1996, and the late American to become world champion was Bobby Fischer, who won the Match of the Century in 1972.

Unibet’s Recent Action

Becoming partners with World Chess is not the only high profile move made by Unibet recently. Last Friday, Unibet extended their sponsorship of Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle until 2023. The Kindred Group-owned brand replaced Stan James this past March, another Kindred Group brand. Unibet will also be the main sponsor for the Road to Cheltenham, which includes four races leading up to the Cheltenham Festival.

Unibet owners Kindred also talked in late July about their plans of expanding into the US and taking advantage of the newly legalized sports betting, namely in New Jersey. Unlike other European based companies, Kindred has not announced any American partners (yet), but said they do plan to use the Unibet brand. Kindred Group CEO Henrik Tjärnström said Kindred figured that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it:

“Our working hypothesis right now is when sports becomes available, we would see it as a big benefit if we could go with the Unibet brand, albeit we fully appreciate that it’s unknown in the US market, but it has worked well in Europe and we believe it could work well in the US as well.”

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