Following the news that European gambling giant Betway has extended its football sponsorship reach with a deal to sponsor Hertha Berlin, there has been another big football and gambling tie-up.

Top Spanish competition La Liga has struck a deal with the well known online gambling platform M88, recruiting the betting company to be its newest sponsor in the Asian region. The four-season deal will involve the betting brand sponsoring La Liga throughout Asia until the end of the 2023-24 season. M88 have been recruited in place of ManBetX, whose relationship with La Liga has ended.

According to the terms of the deal, M88 will promote exclusive digital content and competitions from La Liga across the Asian continent. One example of this promotional work is a planned weekly video series that features analysis from La Liga ambassadors, with the aim of increasing interest in the league in Asia. And through the competitions, fans in Asia will have the chance to win LaLiga merchandise, as well as match tickets and other La Liga experiences.

The previous ManBetX deal had kicked off at the beginning of the 2019-20 season and had been due to continue until the end of the 2020-21 campaign, but it has now been terminated early. That deal was believed to be worth up to $7 million per season.

La Liga has made the signing of regional sponsorship contracts a big part of its international growth strategy for four years. The deal with M88 follows on from their signing of a content and sponsorship agreement with sports streaming organisation Fanatiz in North America. They have also struck their first regional agreement in Argentina; a tie-up with oil lubricant company Total.

La Liga has also recently appointed the former senior global partnership director at Liverpool FC, Simon Li, to be its commercial director for Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea and Australia. Li is one of five regional commercial heads working for La Liga, with others working to cover the US, Africa, India and Mexico.

Speaking to the media back in June, Fergus Geekie, who works as international commercial and marketing director for La Liga, explained the league’s aims:

 “It’s about communicating a central strategy from HQ and then sharing it out among the regional markets – them understanding what we’re driving. The markets can then work to develop and localise our strategy and drive commercial opportunities from there.”

But the deal also represents a significant vote of confidence in the online betting sector at a time when Spanish authorities are introducing new layers of regulation.

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