Norwich City has dropped its new sponsor after a fan revolt against the gambling company’s sexualized marketing.
The Saturday, the club announced a one-year contract with the BK8, an online casino aimed at Asian markets but apparently registered in Malta. The deal, valued at £ 5million, has sparked anger among a number of disgruntled fans that it has one game sponsor and one with an obscure financial structure.
Once these fans started searching online, they also found content that did not match the Canaries’ stated status as a community club.
Young women wearing revealing clothes were a constant theme in the company’s marketing. Norwich persuaded BK8 to remove content from their Instagram channel, only for fans to find out about BK8’s services to their Malaysian customers, which included, among similar offers, “sexy Baccarat” and suggestive contest videos to swallow hot dogs.
On Tuesday, a collective of Norwich fan groups released a video denouncing the sponsorship deal. Using the hashtag #hergametoo, the video exposed what fans believed to be the club’s principles. “Our club does not endorse or endorse degrading or upsetting images that do not align with our values as an inclusive community club. Our football club should not partner with someone else who does.
On Thursday, the club announced that the deal had been canceled with immediate effect. “As a club, we pride ourselves on our place in the local community and our relationships with supporters around the world. We have worked tirelessly for a considerable time to build relationships through a wide range of media and community projects.
“While we anticipate negative reactions to the announcement of the partnership with a betting company, the club understand the reaction to BK8, its subsidiaries and the marketing methods of other similar brands, whose values do not match those of the football club.
“On this occasion, we were wrong. For this, and for any offense caused, the club apologizes.