Aston Villa has announced an official partnership with betting company BK8. The three-year deal will include having the betting firm’s logo on the front of Villa’s jerseys. However, the agreement has not gone over well with the club’s supporters.

BK8 previously found themselves in hot water after using sexually provocative advertisements in 2021. The firm’s YouTube channel reportedly included women performing simulated sex acts while donning BK8 shirts. This unusual marketing campaign forced Norwich City to end its partnership with the company. The club previously had a $6 million deal with BK8.

Aston Villa supporter group unhappy with gambling partnership

Earlier in the year, the Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust caught wind of the impending agreement. “Our club is not holding itself to a high enough standard, especially when it comes to the ethics of sponsorship arrangements,” proclaimed the group. “Sexualizing women to promote a gambling company and induce fans into betting is definitely not what Aston Villa Football Club is all about.” 

Along with BK8’s distasteful ad campaigns, there are also concerns about having a shirt sponsor deal with a gambling company. It was revealed in March that the Premier League will ban betting firm logos on the fronts of jerseys. However, this outlaw will not officially go into effect until 2026. The aforementioned three-year deal between Villa and BK8 will expire just as the ban is put in place.

Gambling company to donate part of jersey sales to charity

BK8 released a joint statement with the Premier League club on Thursday. The firm claims that they will donate a portion of every jersey sold to a local charity.

“As a brand working in football for the last few years, we have committed to working closely with our partners’ local community initiatives and ensure we continue our commitment to delivering on our ambitions in this area,” stated the company’s managing director Michael Gatt.

“Over the next three years of this deal, we will work tirelessly to make an impact in this area with a number of programs across the region that engage with Villa supporters locally but also on a global scale.”

Along with the sponsorship agreement, Villa also unveiled their new home jerseys for the upcoming 2023/24 season. The shirts can already be purchased with the BK8 logo.