If you have been following sponsorship news for teams in the Premier League, then you know that Manchester United recently landed a deal with online gaming giant bwin.Party. This deal allowed bwin to become a shirt sponsor just as they have with Real Madrid. Something that many Arsenal fans may not have realized is that up until a few weeks ago, the Gunners were actually also sponsored by bwin.
The association with bwin started about a year ago when the squad signed a deal with online site Betsson.com. Terms of the deal were pretty straight forward and Betsson became the official betting partner with the club. This meant that any bets placed on the Arsenal at the stadium were through Betsson. In addition, if you head over to GunnersGaming.com, you will find a site dedicated to Arsenal fans for gaming.
How this deal relates to bwin is Betsson currently resides on the Ongame Network. Ongame is one of the oldest online gambling networks in the world and includes sites such as PokerRoom.com. Bwin purchased the network a couple of years ago and operated the network until recently.
Last year, bwin and PartyPoker merged and when that happened they decided that the Ongame Network was a surplus asset that they no longer needed. They worked on a deal and was supposed to sell to Shuffle Master earlier in the year, but that deal fell through. Instead, the Ongame Network was sold in October to the Amaya Gaming Group.
For a short time, this meant that the Arsenal and their biggest rival were basically joined at the hip, at least sponsorship wise. Amaya's purchase put an end to this seemingly unnatural situation. Now it's time to prove to bwin that they are backing the wrong squad.