Operator 32Red, part of the Kindred Group, has come under fire in the UK after it was revealed on Wednesday that football star Wayne Rooney will wear the number 32 shirt next season for Derby County in return for sponsorship cash.
The timing of 32Red’s partnership extension follows operators Paddy Power and GVC addressing growing concerns over the relationship between football and gambling in the UK by voluntary giving up and donating their own shirt sponsorships.
Derby’s owner, Mel Morris, praised the commercial opportunities that the signing has opened up, including the extension of its partnership with shirt sponsor 32Red, saying that the club had “leveraged” the football icon’s celebrity status for new commercial opportunities.
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