AFC Bournemouth Severs All Ties With M88
English Premier League giants AFC Bournemouth has effectively terminated a 3-year sponsorship and brand association with shirt sponsor M88, which is a division of Asian gambling operator the Mansion Group. The group is according to a story ran by Britain’s Daily Mail, in legal and regulatory hot water with the UK Gambling Commission and various investigations into all manners of operation, including business models followed, are currently underway and being conducted by the leading gambling authority. The group is apparently not the sole investigative focus of the UKGC at present and is joined by fellow suspect-operator Mansion Europe, which is of course its Europe-facing leg of business.
The group boasts an entire selection of divisionary operator and gambling brands under its direct control, including the likes of Mansion Casino, Casino.com and Slots Heaven. Mansion-owned M88 first entered into a sponsorship and promotional partnership with the EPL club right ahead of the 2017-2018 EPL football season. The unfortunate result is that the club’s sleeve sponsorship is reportedly affected and part and parcel of the UKGC’s investigation.
Bad Timing Ahead Of Resume
The controversy and upset associated by a reportedly rogue partnership of this nature could not have come at a worse time for the club. The prominent first tier FC has apparently said that it wishes to redeem its colours and sleeves by decorating its jerseys with messages to key- and essential workers for the remainder of whatever lies ahead in terms of a still uncertain 2019-2020 rest of season and fixtures.
Uncertainty prevails in the world of English Premier League club football what with the current season scheduled to restart amid a global health crisis of epic and uncertain proportions – especially in as far as world sports is concerned. AFC Bournemouth is also speculated to be in the process of finding a new shirt sponsor before such time as the proposed resumption of EPL football on June 17.
No More Ties With M88
The FC has in the meantime declared a formal severance of all ties with former sponsor M88 as well its group of holding companies and brands, and as indicated the termination of sponsorship and business relationship on its official AFC Bournemouth website. The club on its official website confirms having broken all ties with the Mansion group of companies, and effectively so from May 31st, 2020.
The statement further confirms the extent of the nature of the sponsorship deal previously in force between the FC and the online gaming giant, saying that since the online operator’s branding could be seen featured on the front-side of AFC Bournemouth’s home, away and third shirts, as well as all training gear, the club has decided it best to complete whatever can be salvaged of the current EPL season in all-new training wear and playing gear.
AFC Bournemouth then went on to extend its gratitude toward its former sponsor for what the club describes as “support” enjoyed over the course of the past three years.
Asian Sponsors Common
Last year saw the beloved EPL club announce a one-year extension on its existing partnership with the M88 brand. The club at the time proclaimed the extension the result of its continued focus on utilising popular Asia-facing brands in an attempt to attract more Asia-based football fans, customers and brand supporters to the club.
Asia is home to a budding network of football-crazy fans and as such, the majority of clubs are forever looking for new ways to engage Asia-based fans with their own particular clubs and brands. And since Asia is very much a gambling and betting nation and people, sponsorship deals of this nature are very much preferred and in high demand.