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Dafabet: UK assets driving Asian expansion

Asian online bookmaker Dafabet is using sponsorship of football clubs and snooker events in the United Kingdom to drive revenue in its core Asian markets. Dafabet is owned by Asian Betting and Gaming Enterprise (Asian BGE).


  • Target sports: Football, snooker, MMA
  • Target markets: Asia 
  • What’s important: Brand awareness, forming relationships with recognsied clubs, events and athletes to build consumer trust
  • Decision-making: Major football shirt sponsorships run and authorised by the board: other deals managed by John Cruces, Dafabet head of sponsorship and his team.

John Cruces, Dafabet head of sponsorship told Sports Sponsorship Insider that the brand’s portfolio of sports sponsorship rights is reviewed on a quarterly basis because of the seasonal nature of its sporting assets.

The Singapore-based internet gaming business has struck sponsorship deals in football, boxing, mixed martial arts, snooker, pool and motorsports.

Dafabet’s sponsorship hierarchy in terms of financial commitment is headed by its two-year shirt deal with English Premier League club Aston Villa, from 2013-14 to 2014-15.  Football is “the bread and butter of our sponsorship commitments,” Cruces said.

Dafabet is also an international betting and gaming partner with Everton FC and has contracted former Portugal player Luis Figo as Dafabet’s World Cup ambassador this year.

Football is the most important betting market to Dafabet, followed by NBA basketball. Dafabet also has a growing audience for virtual sports, like virtual soccer.

Dafabet recently agreed to title sponsor the Masters snooker tournament to be hosted in London this month. Dafabet replaces Betfair as title sponsor. The invitation-only Masters is considered one of the sport’s Triple Crown events, along with the World Championship and the UK Championship.

The Masters is a “fantastic branding opportunity” for Dafabet. It is televised live in 68 countries, including the brand’s primary market Asian territories. The Masters also allows Dafabet to be seen in countries where there may be advertising restrictions on gaming companies or where gaming companies have to pay an increased advertising rate.

Dafabet was also title sponsor of snooker's Players Tour Championship Grand in Galway, Ireland in 2013.

Dafabet’s experienced, multi-national sponsorship team is augmented by long-term, trusted agency partners as and when the brand needs them. Dafabet is vigilant of “one-man bands who are out to make a quick buck”.

Cruces expects the brand’s sponsorship spend to increase as the business continues to grow. “The industry is ever-growing and worldwide. With that in mind we’re open minded and exploring all avenues.”

In Quotes:

John Cruces on Dafabet’s sponsorship objectives:

“One thing we're always conscious of is brand awareness. In our sponsorship deals we strive for maximum presence and forming relationships with recognizable clubs/events/people/brands. This allows potential players to see us and helps establish a level of trust to open accounts, this is key especially in the Asian market where there are all manner of competitors.”

John Cruces on Dafabet’s decision-making process:

“Ultimately decisions are made on a team basis, so we can take more than just one person’s opinion. We’re very lucky to have a range of nationalities in the office, bringing us experience from around the world. For the very big deals, such as shirt sponsorship – they’re ran by and authorised by the board, who thankfully are very supportive to us as a team.”

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