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Aston Villa scores shirt sponsorship deal with BK8

| By Robert Fletcher
Asia-facing operator BK8 has agreed a multi-year shirt sponsorship deal with Aston Villa, despite the English Premier League’s impending ban on such deals.
FA Toffolo Ban

Under the three-year deal, BK8 branding will appear on the front of players’ shirts through to the end of the 2025-26 season.

BK8 will invest in a series of brand activations and benefit from advertising opportunities including assets at the team’s Villa Park home. These assets will be given to charitable organisations to display promotional messages.

The deal also includes another charitable element, whereby BK8 will make a contribution to a local charity per adult third shirt sold.

“Being able to give something back to the supporters for their dedication is a hugely significant part of the reason we want to be involved with a prestigious institution,” BK8 EMEA managing director Michael Gatt said.

“As a brand working in football for the last few years, we have committed to working closely with our partners’ local community initiatives and ensure we continue our commitment to delivering on our ambitions in this area. 

“We will work tirelessly to make an impact in this area with a number of programs across the region that engage with supporters locally and on a global scale.” 

An Aston Villa spokesperson added: “We look forward to exciting collaborations together that will help to grow both brands, particularly within Southeast Asia.”

Shirt sponsorship ban

The deal comes despite Premier League clubs in April collectively agreeing to halt gambling sponsorship on the front of matchday shirts.

The withdrawal of shirt gambling sponsorship will come into effect from the end of the 2025-26 season, meaning deals with operators can stay in place until that date.

Villa’s new deal with BK8 will conclude at the same time as the ban is due to kick in.

The Premier League also said it would look at working with other sports on a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship across the professional sports sector.

Earlier this month, Newcastle United downgraded its deal with offshore gaming operator Fun88.

Fun88 had served as the team’s principal partner since the 2017-18 season but will now focus on efforts to drive the club’s growth in Asia.

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