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Kindred expands RG commitment with Middlesbrough FC

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iGaming operator Kindred Group has struck a partnership with English Football League Championship club Middlesborough FC, and its charitable arm, the MFC Foundation.

A new memorandum of understanding (MoU) will see the MFC Foundation’s branding appear on the team’s home shirt for one match per season, rather than Kindred’s branding.

The foundation’s branding will also appear on warm-up shirts for three matches per season, and on the team’s third shirt.

In addition, at least 10% of digital and print advertising rights will be donated to the foundation.

The operator has also agreed an extended commitment to promote safer gambling messaging, including on the front of shirt logos, in at least 20% of its LED advertising, and throughout its digital assets.

The agreement will see the operator’s logos removed from any web pages specifically targeted at under-18s, and no players under the age of 25 will feature in marketing materials. These commitments are to be continuously reviewed to ensure the operator remains compliant with British regulations around gambling sponsorship.

Kindred has also pledged to donate a percentage of its hospitality and merchandising rights to the club’s fans, which will be made available through competitions and giveaways.

The team’s head of commercial, Lee Fryett said: “We’re delighted in agreeing this [partnership]. This will offer increased opportunities for both our Foundation and our fans and is also a commitment to responsible gambling messaging.

“The three key pillars of the MoU and are community, supporters, and marketing and Kindred Group have made a real commitment to show their support for this.”

Kindred Group UK’s general manager, Neil Banbury, added: “We are proud of this ground-breaking agreement reached with Middlesbrough Football Club. It is another example of our deep commitment to developing a new model for football club sponsorship.

“The agreement acts as a baseline for our collective work in ensuring our sponsorship benefits both the club and its communities. Kindred Group is leading the industry on this approach – and we are excited to see the partnership continue to develop in the coming months.”

Kindred announced in September that all of its 32Red brand’s football club partners would display responsible gambling messaging alongside the brand’s logo during the course of the 2019-20 season.

Each of the clubs has its own responsible gambling message. Leeds United’s kit features “Keep Gambling Fun”; Derby County’s “Play Responsibly”, with “Never Chase Losses” on Preston North End shirts, and “Set Deposit Limits” on Middlesbrough jerseys.

Results published in November showed that after finance costs and income tax of £8.2m, Kindred’s net profit for the third quarter came to £52.5m, a 190.1% year-on-year improvement.

The operator’s chief executive, Henrik Tjärnström, said the business’ diversified model meant it was able to overcome ongoing disruption caused by novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

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