European gaming operator Bwin has announced that it has chosen not to renew its club shirt sponsorship of nine time European Cup winner Real Madrid. Bwin instead will choose to become Real Madrid online gaming and digital partner, forming a business relationship at a smaller scale than their current agreement.
Bwin’s sponsorship of Real Madrid has seen them sponsor the Spanish capital club for six years at a fixed payment of €20 million per season, making it the most expensive shirt sponsorship in world football. Many marketing commentators saw this move as a key move for Bwin to increase brand awareness and bring further liquidity to its key gaming operations – Sportsbook, Poker and casino.
Real Madrid are currently the 2nd highest revenue generating football club in the world, behind the England’s Manchester United. Star players for the Spanish football club include 2007 2008 world player of the year Ricardo KAKA and Cristiano Ronaldo. The announcement by Bwin will indicate that Real Madrid will be searching for new shirt sponsors for the upcoming 2013/2014 European football season.
Bwin one of Europe’s biggest gaming operators are renowned for high visibility media buys and sponsorship have recently extended their sponsorship of the Moto GP championship racing. The decision to scale down the level of sponsorship to a focus is a strategic decision which reflects a shift in consumer behaviour over the past few years which has led to an evolution in bwin.party’s sponsorship strategy to focus on social media and social gaming, online and mobile integration, as well as exploiting the Group’s extensive content and media rights catalogue.
Bwin.party Group CEO, Norbert Teufelberger commented: ” We now look forward to beginning the next chapter by leveraging our brand strengths to drive revenue and create premium content for our customers and Real Madrid’s millions of followers. Our decision not to renew the shirt sponsorship brings to an end one chapter in our relationship with Real Madrid which has delivered six highly successful years of brand promotion for bwin on the shirts of one of the world’s truly global football brands.We remain committed sponsors and wish Real Madrid every success in the club’s pursuit of more trophies.”