Sky Bet swallows 50% rights increase to secure five-year EFL extension
The deal will also see Flutter-owned Sky Bet invest £1m per season and £6m in total into a Community Fund held by the EFL to be invested into local communities.
The charitable initiatives in focus are still to be mutually agreed by both organisations.
According to Sky Bet parent operator Flutter Entertainment, the renewal includes a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on how to deliver objectives in a socially responsible manner.
For example, Sky Bet will not actively market themselves or their products in family areas of club stadiums or advertise to young fans.
The EFL will also dedicate a proportion of its central inventory to promote safer gambling messaging and support Sky Bet’s safer gambling campaigns.
On this topic, Sky Bet has committed to funding a player education programme across the EFL’s 72 clubs that will focus on the potential dangers of gambling.
The media spotlight is firmly focused on the gambling industry’s close relationship with football after Brentford striker Ivan Toney was handed an eight-month ban from the sport for a series of historical betting violations.
The EFL, which covers English football’s second (Championship), third (League One) and fourth (League Two) tiers, has taken a different approach.
Sky Bet CCO Steve Birch said: “Football is central to who we are and it’s great to be able to support the game and provide investment for clubs across the pyramid.
“As the recent Sky Bet play-off finals demonstrated, the EFL is going from strength to strength with packed grounds and millions watching games here in the UK and around the world.”
Birch said the company was “absolutely committed” to safer gambling, adding the partnership would showcase how operators and organisations can work together to tackle gambling harm.
As part of the agreement, Sky Bet will also have the rights to award the official Manager, Player and Goal of the Month awards, as well as seasonal awards for each division.
EFL CEO Trevor Birch said Sky Bet had been a valuable commercial partner for more than a decade by offering clubs investment to help navigate a “volatile financial landscape”.
“The government’s recent gambling white paper highlighted the social responsibility measures that have accompanied our partnership as being an example of good practice for the wider sports sector to learn from.
“We will look to deepen our commitment to the promotion of safer gambling as part of this extension,” he added.