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Vasco da Gama and Betfair sign biggest sponsorship in club history

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Vasco da Gama and Betfair have signed the biggest sponsorship in the club’s history as Brazil prepares to launch its fully regulated sports betting market.

The deal between Vasco, who play in the top-flight football league in Brazil, and Betfair, will run until 31 December 2025.

The agreement, despite being billed as the “biggest”, did not disclose the final price. It is also understood that the sponsorship could be renewed for two additional seasons.

Vasco’s men’s team will feature Betfair’s branding on their kit. Meanwhile, the women’s team will have it on the shoulder blade of their shirts. Vasco will debut the Betfair brand on its shirt in their game against Vitória in the league on 12 May.

The deal will feature extensive cooperation between Vasco and Betfair, with activities also included that will be aimed at the club’s fans. These will see the likes of regular raffles, prizes with VIP tickets and other unique experiences with the team.

Lúcio Barbosa, Vasco chief executive, labelled the deal as an “honour and an achievement”.

“There were weeks of intense work to get the best for our club with a huge and consolidated company,” Barbosa said. “We still have challenges ahead, but our commitment to working seriously and hard for Vasco continues.”

Kimberly Daly, Betfair International’s general director, added: “The partnership between Vasco and Betfair is not just a master sponsorship on the team’s shirt, it is also a strategic collaboration based on shared values, excellence and passion for football, respecting the greatness of its history, but also strengthening investment in project within the Rio team to help develop the club’s present and future.”

Vasco looking to cash in with Betfair

After Bill 3,626/2023 was passed and signed into law in December, Brazil is currently rolling out its regulation for sports betting and igaming ahead of the market launch.

Vasco has joined Corinthians in penning a gambling sponsorship deal. In January, Corinthians announced the biggest sponsorship in Brazilian football history, with their deal with VaideBet valued at BRL370m (£59.8m/€69.4m/$75.9m).

Brazil’s regulation is being revealed in four parts. Already announced has been the banning of operators accepting credit card and cryptocurrency payments. Additionally, this week it was confirmed that players winnings above BRL2,824 would be taxed at 15%.

Still to be announced are regulations concerning advertising and requirements on igaming, as well as how socially responsible causes will benefit from industry contributions. Brazil is expecting to have its regulation fully announced by the end of July.

Match-fixing a concern in Brazil

Though there is excitement for the regulation of sports betting in Brazil, one lingering issue is the threat of match-fixing.

The topic was discussed at a newly created parliamentary inquiry commission (CPI) on sports betting meeting in April. Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas owner John Textor reiterated his allegations of manipulation in a game between São Paulo and Palmeiras. Textor also stated he had a recording of a referee who had been bribed.

The Botafogo owner also referenced a number of other examples in which he believes technology hired by him had found abnormal actions.

Textor stated his belief that the police and CPI could take action. This includes players or managers found to have committed wrongdoing being banned from football in Brazil.  

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