The EFL and Sky Bet have agreed a record five-year partnership extension that will see the sports betting and gaming company continue as the league’s title partner until the end of the 2028/29 campaign.
Building on a decade-long partnership, the new rights fee represents a 50% increase from Sky Bet, providing significant revenues for EFL clubs and support for the league’s overriding objective to make clubs financially sustainable across all divisions.
The deal will also see Sky Bet invest £1million per season and £6million in total into a Community Fund held by the EFL to be invested into communities across England and Wales where EFL clubs are located.
The EFL and Sky Bet will use the funding to deliver activity via the EFL Trust and the network of Club Community Organisations, with the initiatives in focus to be mutually agreed by the organisations.
First agreed in 2013, the Sky Bet partnership represents one of the longest and most significant in UK professional sport. Under the new extension, the partnership will continue to be built around safer gambling, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that sets out how to deliver joint objectives in a socially responsible way.
The MoU will continue to put the protection of children and other vulnerable individuals at its heart, with both the EFL and Sky Bet making a renewed commitment to its approach in the promotion of the product.
Examples within the MoU include:
- Sky Bet will not actively market themselves or their products in family areas of club stadiums or advertise to young fans
- The EFL will dedicate a proportion of its central inventory to promote safer gambling messaging and support Sky Bet’s safer gambling campaigns
- Sky Bet will fund a player education programme across the EFL’s 72 clubs that will focus on the potential dangers of gambling and provide support and advice
Both the EFL and Sky Bet will share learnings and insight from the partnership with Government, other sports and sector stakeholders to help inform the new sports sponsorship Code of Conduct which is being developed in accordance with the Gambling Act Review White Paper’s proposals.
As part of the agreement, Sky Bet will continue as official title partner of the Sky Bet EFL and Sky Bet Play-Offs on a worldwide basis. Sky Bet will also have rights to award the official Manager, Player and Goal of the Month awards as well as the seasonal ‘Golden Boot’ and ‘Golden Glove’ awards in each division.
Trevor Birch, EFL chief executive said: “For over a decade, Sky Bet has been a valuable partner for EFL clubs, offering sustained investment to help clubs navigate a volatile financial landscape and ensure fans can enjoy fantastic footballing entertainment in every corner of the country.
“We have consistently seen our partnership evolve to move with the times and with community at the heart of the EFL, a new community investment fund is perfectly aligned and will help strengthen the partnership’s commitment to social responsibility.
“The Government’s recent Gambling White Paper highlighted the social responsibility measures that have accompanied our partnership with Sky Bet as being an example of good practice for the wider sports sector to learn from and we will look to deepen our commitment to the promotion of safer gambling as part of this extension.
“On behalf of our clubs, we thank Sky Bet for its ongoing support to English football and we look forward to seeing our much-loved competition develop yet further with the additional certainty this investment provides.”
Steve Birch, Sky Bet chief commercial officer, said: “I am extremely proud of Sky Bet’s ongoing partnership with the EFL and delighted to have reached today’s agreement. Football is central to who we are and it is great to be able to support the game and provide investment for clubs across the pyramid.
“I am particularly delighted that we can go one step further today with the announcement of our Sky Bet EFL Community Fund, seeking to make a real difference for people across England and Wales.
“As the recent Sky Bet Play-Off Finals demonstrated, the EFL is going from strength to strength with packed grounds and millions watching games here in the UK and around the world.
“We are absolutely committed to Safer Gambling, and I am delighted that our partnership with the EFL shows how responsible betting and gaming operators, and sporting organisations can work together to promote safer gambling and tackle the issue of gambling harm.”