Chelsea are continuing to try and expand into Asia by agreeing a sponsorship deal with Asian online casino outfit 188Bet. This follows just days after a similar agreement was made with Aston Villa, and is a natural successor to Chelsea’s major sponsor Samsung, as they try and up the clubs profile in the East.
“Having just concluded a major extension with Samsung, we are delighted to have finalized another significant deal with a leading brand in 188Bet,” Peter Kenyon said in an official press release.
Chelsea have many initiatives in Asia other than Samsung and 188Bet. They also have an agreement with the Asian Football Federation to promote grassroots football in the East. As part of that deal the Chelsea reserves played the Uzbekistan U20 side yesterday at Cobham, The Uzbek star player (and Asian Player-of-the-Year) Server Djeparov is currently being coached by Felipe Scolari at Bunyodkor! Chelsea lost 1-0.
With the Premier League and other European companies embracing sponsorship from gambling companies, there is always the worry that gambling may infiltrate into affecting the outcome of games, which is something that has been common in Asia. Big gambling syndicates may try to muscle in on the English game, which is the biggest medium for betting in China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.
As long as they all bet on Chelsea to win, i’m not particularly bothered! Are you?