It seems French soccer clubs are being heavily backed by online gaming companies of late. Only days ago, 888.com announced their sponsorship deal with Ligue 1 side, Toulouse FC. Only days later, Gamebookers (an online sports betting company recently purchased by PartyGaming) announced they will be the official gold sponsor of Premier League side FC Nantes for the next three football seasons.
The deal will see the Gamebookers.com logo feature prominently on the team jerseys for all home games (back) and away games (front). The deal will also put the PartyGaming-owned company brand visibility all around the FC Nantes stadium.
John O’Malia, a Gamebookers spokesman, commented: “Gamebookers
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has chosen to sponsor Nantes Atlantique because the club has such an incomparable aura in France and is automatically associated with the “beau jeu”. This is part of their legacy and we owe it to our customers to support the great football that they love. I am convinced that we can contribute to the renewed success of this great Nantes club, which we expect to see soon on top of the league standings.”
Jean-Luc Gripond, Vice-President of FC Nantes, commented: “The club has decided to innovate with a new sponsor which has two notably strong characteristics: firstly, it is international and our football needs partners in this dimension. And secondly, it is part of a universe of new technologies and therefore part of our future. We intend to live at least three beautiful years of football in the company of Gamebookers.”
FC Nantes was established in 1943 and has won the French Championship no less than eight times and the French Cup on three occasions, making the club one of the most successful soccer clubs in France.
They have performed well in the Champions League, having made it to the semi-finals in 1995-96. They were eliminated by Juventus that year.
The club also holds an impressive record for a consecutive number of seasons in League 1 – the 2006/2007 season will be their 44th in the French Premier League.