Marathonbet lands shirt sponsorship deal with Lazio
Marathonbet has struck a shirt sponsorship deal with Italian Serie A football club Lazio, despite the country’s government recently passing new regulations to outlaw gambling advertising.
The agreement represents a short-term deal and will only run until the end of 2018, prior to when the new laws come into effect on January 1, 2019.
Marathonbet branding will appear on Lazio players’ shirts, as well as on various LED advertising screens inside the team’s Stadio Olimpico home stadium.
In an announcement on its website confirming the deal, Lazio said the agreement is in “compliance with current regulations”.
New laws will ban gambling ads on sports jerseys from June 30, 2019, and while other regulations will come into effect from the start of the year, operators will have until the end of June to ensure they are complying with the new laws.
Natalia Zavodnik, chief executive of Marathonbet, said: “Working with a club with such an illustrious history as that of Lazio emphasises our intention to continue our growth in the Italian market and beyond, and we cannot wait to see the club's path, both nationally and in Europe, this season.”
Marathonbet did not immediately respond to a request by iGamingBusiness.com to explain the timing of the deal in the wake of the legislative changes in Italy.
Italy’s decision to ban gambling adverts has attracted a negative response from various areas of the industry. The European Gaming and Betting Association branded the ban as “counterproductive”, while Paddy Power Betfair CEO Peter Jackson said the new system will be “very restrictive”.