The marriage between sports and sports gambling – two sectors that many thought could never successfully connect – continues. There have been a number of important partnerships announced this year between gaming operators and sports organizations and the latest comes via AC Milan out of Italy. The soccer club has inked a deal with Yabo Sports, a casino and sportsbook operator, to allow the latter to become its official regional partner in Asia. The initial agreement will remain in place for three years, with a possible renewal coming at the end.
Thanks to the new partnership, Yabo will gain exposure through Milan’s fan village and Digital Summer Tour, which has been created as a campaign to increase the exposure of the organization to Asian soccer fans. Together, the two entities will launch a number of initiatives and “interactive fan experiences” to raise brand presence in the region and to capture the important Asian soccer fan market. Yabo already has extensive exposure in the region, which will give Milan an established springboard for its initiatives.
Yabo CMO David Lee says of the new partnership, “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 working closely with AC Milan to deliver incredibly creative sports entertainment experiences for our fans in Asia and beyond.”
The agreement is a win for Yabo, as well, as it will also be able to capitalize on soccer’s popularity in Asia to expand its footprint in the region. The financial details of the deal haven’t been provided, but Milan has been on a shopping spree this year, already spending millions to renew a long-standing partnership with Emirates, the United Arab Emirates-based airline. It also signed a “unique, industry-first” partnership with Roc Nation, a sports and entertainment agency, this past July.
Milan Chief Revenue Officer Casper Stylsvig adds of the agreement with Yabo, “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. Delivering high performance, localised partnerships that focus on shared business objectives is a fundamental aspect of our partnership strategy.”
In March of last year, Yabo became the International Presenting Sponsor Asia for Italy’s Liga Serie A, home to Milan. That arrangement was a big step for the company, giving it immediate and widespread exposure in all Serie A games broadcast throughout Asia.