Foto: Paula Reis/Flamengo

The presence of betting companies as sponsors on the uniforms of Brazilian football teams is an undeniable reality. This practice is easily noticeable when looking at the teams’ shirts during the Series A and B games of the Brazilian Championship.

However, among the various names printed on these shirts, only four economic sectors stand out as the main financiers.

Of the 20 teams competing in Serie A, an impressive 75% of their master sponsorships come from betting companies. This trend reflects the notable growth of this sector in the sports market.

In second place, with a representation of 15%, are sponsorships from the financial sector.

In 2023 alone, the combined revenue of 31 of the 40 clubs that make up series A and B of the Brazilian Championship reached the mark of R$11.1 billion, according to data from EY.

This amount represents an increase of 39% compared to the previous year. Of this total, R$1.4 billion came from commercial revenue, including sponsorships.

The five main clubs in the Brasileirão raised 52% of the total through commercial contracts. Of these, Flamengo led with revenue of R$242 million, followed by Palmeiras with R$165 million and Corinthians with R$137 million.

Also noteworthy is the performance of Bahia and Botafogo, which increased their revenue from sponsorships by more than 100% compared to the previous year.

Impact of bookmakers on Brazilian football

Ricardo Bianco Rosada, founder of the consultancy brmkt.co, highlights: “The entry of betting companies into Brazilian football is a strategy to strengthen the national sport.

Increasing investments increase the economic power of teams, allowing more resources to be directed to structural improvements, signing players and developing the youth teams.”

Thus, some of these contracts represent the largest agreements ever signed in the history of Brazilian clubs, including Corinthians, Flamengo, Bahia, Juventude and Fortaleza, among others.

Marcelo Paz, CEO of Fortaleza’s SAF, emphasizes that the contract signed in 2023 with a betting company positioned the club on the same level as other major teams in the region in terms of master sponsorship.

In the case of Juventude, access to Série A opened the door to an agreement with an international bookmaker, which promises to boost the club in 2024.

Bruno Zaballa, Vice President of Marketing at Juventude, states: “Therefore, Juventude’s national relevance was crucial to this partnership. Sponsorships from big brands strengthen the team and improve its prospects not only on the field, but also off it.”

In second place in the sponsorship ranking, the financial sector is represented by teams such as: Palmeiras (Crefisa), Grêmio (Banrisul) and Internacional (Banrisul), totaling 15% of the Brasileirão clubs.

Nelson Pires, vice-president of marketing at Internacional, concludes: “This partnership goes beyond sponsorship. It is a true commercial collaboration that has strengthened Internacional’s football for years.”

It is worth noting that bookmakers also sponsor the main national football competitions, such as Series A and B and the Copa do Brasil.