188Bet agrees soccer shirt sponsorship deal first | Reuters

Wigan were known to be looking for a new shirt sponsor.

Chairman Dave Whelan sold his stake in JJB Sports, the company

he founded, in 2007 and recently changed the name of Wigan’s

ground from the JJB Stadium to the DW Stadium.

Reebok will continue to manufacture Bolton’s kit and is

committed to sponsoring the club’s stadium until 2016 despite

its parent company, Adidas ADSG.DE, closing its office at the

stadium earlier this year, with 160 jobs lost as a result..

LONDON May 12 Online gaming firm 188Bet has

become the first company to sponsor two Premier League clubs

after striking a deal to sponsor Bolton Wanderers and Wigan

Athletic, replacing Reebok and JJB Sports JJB.L, respectively.

188Bet declined to comment on the level of investment

involved in the deals, which will run concurrently over a

two-year period.

The in-play football betting specialist will become

principal sponsor of the two clubs from the start of the 2009/10

season and its brand logo will appear on all adult club shirts.

188Bet said the deals will enable it to raise its profile in

the UK and Europe. West Ham announced a

deal with SBOBET, another online betting firm last December.

JJB last month agreed new, easier terms with its landlords

in order to stave off administration after it was forced to

close over 100 shops last year due to tough trading conditions.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; editing by Simon Jessop)

188Bet, based in the Isle of Man, is following a number of

other online gambling firms who either currently or have in the

past sponsored Premier League football clubs. At the moment, it is mainly focused on the

Asian market, which generates about 80 percent of its revenues.

“We were looking for a unique opportunity to mark 188BET’s

first major foray in the UK market, and feel that the

collaborative engagement with both Bolton Wanderers and Wigan

Athletic shall help us to further grow the strength of our

brand,” said 188Bet Chief Executive Andy Scott.

Tottenham Hotspur are sponsored by Mansion, a gaming and

entertainment group based in Gibraltar

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