Why are rugby league teams sponsored by online gambling companies

It would appear that Rugby League teams are getting a nice boost in the area of sponsorship. Seeing commercials for online gambling is not anything new. In fact, they are quite prevalent when it comes to the English Premier League. However, lately, we are seeing them quite often in Rugby League as well. In other words, a great deal of rugby team sponsorships come from online gambling companies, which was not always the case. So, let’s examine why this is happening now, and see what factors led to it. 

Relevant Target Audience

First of all, let’s address the most obvious factor and that is the Rugby League audience. Typically, marketing decisions are driven by impact or focused there where they yielded a high conversion rate. So, even if a particular content has a few thousand viewers as an audience, they can get sponsorship or paid commercials from a specific company. So long as the demographics show that the majority of their audience is also the company’s targeted customer base.

Rugby’s audience is predominantly male, and casinos want to attract men of all ages. So by having their brand promoted through Rugby League they ensure relevant people see the commercial. 

Rugby League is Popular in the UK

Another important factor is the popularity of the Rugby League in the UK. League manages to maintain its high popularity in England and the BBC is committed to broadcast the challenge cup until 2024. This is one of the reasons why online gambling companies want to sponsor the teams. The UK online gambling laws are more loose compared to other geographies, so a lot of online betting enthusiasts actually live there.   

Change in Legislation

As mentioned in the previous section online gambling laws are still regarded as an uncharted territory by many states across the globe. However, that is starting to change. Betting is a wide-spread hobby, and with the right regulations in place, governments can make it work. Recently, online sports betting became legal in the Colorado state in USA, so new markets are beginning to emerge, people want to find out more about it and how it works.  


Once online sports betting becomes available in a certain location, new local providers start to appear. These new providers want to accumulate a user base of their own, and they generally do that by giving generous bonuses during a promo period. So, getting the message across to an existing online betting audience is crucial, as they are likely to use new platforms because of these bonuses. 

Increasing Brand Awareness and Building Trust

It’s a known fact that when something becomes profitable, fraud and scams are soon to follow. Online gambling is no different, as it happened multiple times in the past that people who played on unreliable and sketchy websites got scammed. Platforms that scam people generally want to keep a low profile, because users are surely going to share their experience and warn others.  

When a new online gambling platform opens up they need to make sure people test their platform and trust them. Sponsoring and advertising on big sports events is a great way to establish trust and generate positive brand awareness. In other words, if rugby fans give it a go and spread the word, new users won’t have to second guess themselves before using the platform.  

Corporate Social Responsibility

The online gambling industry is huge, and it’s quite common for corporate firms to engage in various community projects. This way they want to give something back to the community and also generate brand loyalty. Sponsoring sports teams and allowing them to grow is widely appreciated by sports fans. 

Furthermore, corporations that generate revenue in billions pay way higher income tax. Governments who were struck by a crisis and have budget deficits are likely to legalize online sports betting to cover those holes. Showing people that those decisions are in the best interest of the community is essential for continued success and growth.  

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