Tigers closer to betting sponsorship - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers closer to betting sponsorship

By Guy Hand 23/01/2009 08:10:13 PM Comments (0)

Richmond are set to seal a groundbreaking sponsorship deal with a betting agency after the AFL relaxed its rules regarding bookmakers sponsoring clubs.

It is understood Luxbet.com - Tabcorp's new bookmaking arm based in the Northern Territory - is close to a deal with the Tigers to become a major sponsor.

Luxbet would become the back-of-jersey sponsor for Richmond, joining electronics firm Dick Smith as the club's major sponsors.

The deal would be subject to AFL approval, but that looks a formality after the league made wide-reaching changes to their rules regarding betting agencies sponsoring clubs.

Clubs can now seek out bookmaking firms as sponsors, provided they have product fee and information sharing agreements with the AFL.

And if the betting agencies have held an agreement for 12 months or more, they will be allowed to become major sponsors, with the AFL agreeing to examine those applications on a case-by-case basis.

The AFL's decision to relax the rules opens up options for several other clubs including Melbourne, who remain without a major sponsor.

The rule changes come after recent NSW and Victorian government legislation allowing betting firms to advertise, while Queensland is likely to follow suit some time this year.

The changes also come in the final year of the AFL's own sponsorship deals with Tabcorp and betting exchange Betfair.

While the Tigers were tight-lipped about any possible deal with Luxbet, the club admitted the rule changes were likely to help in their search for a new major sponsor to join Dick Smith.

It would be a welcome change of luck on the sponsorship front for the Tigers, who had a deal with insurance giant AIG collapse at the 11th hour because of the global financial crisis late last year.

Drafting Ben Cousins has helped make Richmond a more attractive sponsorship medium, especially as he promises to be a publicity magnet for the club in 2009.

"Like several clubs we have been in discussions with betting agencies and will now assess the impact of the AFL's announcement," Tigers general manager of commercial operations Hamish McKenzie said.

"We continue to be in discussions with business partners for sponsorship opportunities which we anticipate finalising in the coming weeks."

The AFL currently has product fee and information sharing deals with seven betting companies - Tabcorp and its subsidiaries Luxbet and TAB Sportsbet, Betfair, Betezy, Sports Acumen, Sportingbet Australia, IASBet and Racing Odds.

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