AC Milan is looking to expand its presence in Asia through a new partnership with online casino and sportsbook operator Yabo Sports. This deal takes effect from the 2020/21 season.
The three-year deal will have Yabo recognized as the club’s official regional partner across Asia, where the club has the second largest following of any team in China.
The partnership will start with Yabo joining in the club’s digital summer tour, which will see it create a “virtual fan village” offering its Chinese fans exclusive experiences and engagement.
“We are delighted to partner with Yabo Sports, who will undoubtedly help us to grow our brand and connect with our millions of Rossoneri fans across the Asian region,” Casper Stylsvig, AC Milan’s chief revenue officer, said. “Delivering high performance, localized partnerships that focus on shared business objectives is a fundamental aspect of our partnership strategy,” he added.
Meanwhile David Lee, Yabo Sports’ chief marketing
officer, commented on the partnership, saying:
“We are very excited to join hands with AC Milan, a club with the second largest fan base in China. For the next three years, we very much look forward to work closely with AC Milan to deliver incredibly creative sports entertainment experiences for our fans in Asia and beyond.”
This move is proof of a shift in focus by clubs to improve engagement with fans worldwide. This was already observed with SS Lazio signing up HQ Bet as its Chinese betting partner; JBO was named as Bologna FC’s Asian betting partner and 10Bet as Serie A champions Juventus’ ‘international partner’.
Regulators around Europe are starting to apply a more restrictive approach to the involvement of gambling companies in sport, and teams across the European region have also started to reconsider their approach to sponsorship.