Real Madrid gamble on sponsorship

After the recent announcement that Bwin, the online betting website, will now be the new shirt sponsors of Real Madrid FC, Spain’s communication watchdog, Asociación de Usuarios de la Comunicación (AUC), has lodged a formal complaint with Spain’s Ministry of Economy and Taxes.

The AUC believes that the shirt sponsorship is breaking up to as many as eight Spanish laws which they claim make it illegal for unlicensed online gaming companies to advertise their services in Spain.

However, Real Madrid, who clinched the Spanish league title on Sunday wearing shirts baring the Bwin logo, are not the only team at the centre of the dispute.’s shirt sponsorship of Seville and Miapuesta’s deal with Figueres have also caught the attention of the AUC.

According to Francisco Antonio Gonzales, the sports spokesman for Spain’s opposition party, Partido Popular, the management of the football teams should also expect recriminations should the deals be deemed illegal.

Bwin are no stranger to controversy when it comes to sponsorship. Two chief executives from the Austrian-based bookmaker, Manfred Bodner and Norbert Teufelberger, were arrested last year as they were set to announce their shirt sponsorship of the French football club, Monaco, for reasons that the AUC are now citing.

But more recently, AC Milan, who are also sponsored by Bwin, were fined €100,000 by Bavarian authorities for wearing their Bwin-decorated shirts in Germany against Bayern Munich in the quarter finals of the champions league. Again, the reason for this fine was because unlicensed gaming companies are not allowed to advertise in Germany.

Editor, - 2007-06-19 11:38:42

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