Stake.com has strengthened its brand awareness in India via an agreement between the affiliated Stake News platform and Mumbai City FC – circumventing local regulations in the process.
Indian gambling legislation is complex due to the federal nature of the country’s administration, which allows different states to enact varying rules regarding betting and gaming.
However, endorsement of betting operators by celebrities and sports clubs is generally prohibited and has been struck down in legal rulings in the past.
Stake News’ deal with Mumbai City – which names the platform principal partner of the club and grants front-of-shirt sponsorship – side steps such legislation due to the platform being an affiliate of the crypto casino operator, but still using the same branding.
“Stake News is delighted that Mumbai City FC has signed us on as their Principal Partner for the upcoming season,” said Akhil Sarin, Director of Acquisition, Stake News. “We fully bought into the club’s plans for expansion and can’t wait to see our branding on the shirt.
“This partnership will give us an opportunity to build a community of sports enthusiasts in India by bringing resourceful news and driving key awareness within the global sports market.”
Terms of the multi-year partnership include the aforementioned front-of-shirt contract, with Stake News branding featuring on the Mumbai City first team’s match and training kits, starting with the 2022/23 season.
Additionally, the platform will be integrated into the Indian Super League (ISL) team’s digital communication networks, functioning as a news source for followers of the club.
Kandarp Chandra, Mumbai City FC CEO, said: “We are delighted to partner with Stake News and welcome them to the Mumbai City family. Through the recent years our focus has remained on bringing the fans closer to the club, both physically and digitally.
“Stake News’ support will help us accentuate our intent of engaging with our fans not just online, but on ground as well in what will be the first time we see fans return to the stadiums after two years.
“On behalf of Mumbai City, I would like to express my gratitude to Stake News and we look forward to building a successful relationship with our new principal partner.”
Stake has been embarking on a large-scale marketing and branding strategy over the past two years, targeting sports in particular. The News platform’s partnership with Mumbai City is Stake’s latest this year in football, following a deal with Premier League side Everton FC.
This deal was not without controversy, however, having been struck ahead of a vote by Premier League clubs regarding the future of the English top-flight’s relationship with betting – which could see a phase out of front-of-shirt sponsorships.
With the publication of the Gambling Act review White Paper also due next month, and with social responsibility concerns widespread, 20,000 Everton fans also signed a petition against the partnership.