Plus500 teams up with Ital­ian club Ata­lanta to tar­get fans

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Michael O’Dwyer

SPREAD bet­ting firm Plus500 has signed a spon­sor­ship deal with Ital­ian foot­ball side Ata­lanta as trad­ing and cryp­tocur­rency plat­forms con­tinue to tar­get sports fans.

The FTSE 250 firm an­nounced a three-year deal to be­come the main shirt spon­sor of the Ital­ian club, which reached the quar­ter-fi­nals of the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League.

It marks Plus500’s con­tin­ued ex­pan­sion into the sport, where it al­ready spon­sors Atletico Madrid, one of Spain’s most suc­cess­ful sides in the past decade, and has an­nounced tieups with clubs in Poland and Switzer­land. The con­tract terms were not dis­closed. Plus500’s ri­val eToro part­nered with six Premier League clubs last sea­son while play­ers at Sh­effield United, Wat­ford and Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers all car­ried lo­gos of cryp­tocur­rency or bro­ker­age firms on their sleeves. The spread bet­ting and on­line in­vest­ment in­dus­try’s in­creas­ing in­ter­est in sport, where gam­ing and gam­bling firms spend heav­ily on pro­mo­tion, could spark con­cern that con­sumers will be put at risk.

On­line trad­ing firms en­joyed a boom dur­ing the pan­demic as pun­ters flocked to the sites due to volatile mar­kets and bookmakers be­ing un­able to of­fer bets while sports events were banned dur­ing lock­down.

In Novem­ber, a cross-party parliament­ary re­port called for spread bet­ting to be reg­u­lated by the Gam­bling Com­mis­sion in­stead of the Fi­nan­cial Con­duct Au­thor­ity, which reg­u­lates in­vest­ment firms. Spread bet­ters should fol­low the same so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity pro­tec­tions as book­ies, the re­port found. Plus500 said sports spon­sor­ship had boosted its brand recog­ni­tion and cus­tomer num­bers.

Ata­lanta, cel­e­brat­ing Mario Pasalic’s goal dur­ing the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter-fi­nal against Paris Saint-Germain, will wear shirts spon­sored by spread bet­ting firm Plus500

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