Maltese online gambling operator Interwetten is close to finalising a title sponsorship deal with the Greek Super League, the top level of professional football in Greece.
SportBusiness has learned from sources close to the deal that the agreement is awaiting sign-off from the Super League board of directors next week.
It is understood that Super League presented a three-year proposal worth €6m ($6.6m), or €2m per year, from the betting company to representatives of the league’s 14 teams on Monday.
The deal would extend the brand’s relationship with the league from the current one-season betting partnership signed for 2019-20, which is thought to be worth €250,000 per year.
The title rights deal would normally have started on 1 July, 2020 with an end-date of 30 June, 2023, but will now start at the contract signing stage, so that Interwetten can also title sponsor the 2020 league play-offs.
The new format had been agreed last year in order to increase commercial revenue and saw the 16-team league reduced to 14 teams for the 2019-20 season with an extended play-off series at the end.
Minas Lysandrou, president of the Greek Super League and vice-president and chief executive of league club AEK FC, told SportBusiness today that funds from Interwetten will help fund the extra costs incurred in staging the play-offs which are slated to start on 6 June.
The government has indicated that it will allow the Super League to resume behind closed doors and with strict health protocols.
Lysandrou added that the Greek government’s exemplary handling of the Covid-19 crisis, in general, had given the board of Interwetten confidence in making the investment.
In another sign of confidence, he added that one of the league’s main sponsors, Nivea Men, which sponsors both the ‘Goal of the Month’ and ‘Player of the Month’ had “stayed on the same path” contractually throughout the period of the league’s suspension without calling for any changes.
In terms of Interwetten’s rights, Lysandrou said that the specific naming formula had yet to be finalised, but that all general points of the deal had been agreed.
As the league’s official sports betting partner deal, Interwetten’s distinctive yellow and black branding currently appears on LED boards at stadiums and on interview boards. The company also benefits from visibility on the league’s digital platform and gets a hospitality package for every league match.
Interwetten is also the main shirt sponsor of the Greek Super League team Asteras Tripolis from 2019-20, and has football sponsorship interests in Germany and Spain as betting partner to VfL Wolfsburg and TSG Hoffenheim and the main shirt sponsor of Sporting de Gijon.
The Super League title rights were dominated by lottery and sports betting firm, OPAP via multiple extensions from 2007-08 to 2016–17. Greek bottled water brand Souroti was the title partner from 2017-18 to 2018-19.