April 18, 2024

Bournemouth has terminated its partnership with shirt sponsor M88 following an investigation by the Gambling Commission into the online gaming company, according to The Athletic.

According to the UK Gambling Commission, M88, also known as Mansion88 and the Asian-facing arm of Mansion Group, is currently under investigation, along with Mansion Europe.

The Commission is “currently looking at various aspects of M88 and Mansion Europe model and operations,” a spokesperson said.

Eddie Howe’s side will now play the remainder of the 2019-20 season without a shirt sponsor on their adult home, away, third and training kits, although it is understood that the club are actively seeking a new sponsorship agreement.

Bournemouth’s three-year deal with M88 was due to expire on May 31 but they have decided not to extend the relationship until the end of the restructured Premier League campaign, which is due to resume on June 17.

A Bournemouth statement read: “AFC Bournemouth can confirm that its partnership with M88 will end on Sunday (May 31). The online gaming company has featured on the front of the club’s home, away and third shirts, and training wear, since the start of the 2017-18 season. The club will therefore complete the 2019-20 campaign in new training wear and playing kits.

“AFC Bournemouth would like to thank M88 for its support over the past three years.”

M88 originally signed a two-year deal, which was then extended on club-record terms last year. Aside from the sponsorship of adult shirts, the gambling firm also received branded social media content via the club’s official channels and featured pitchside at the Vitality Stadium as part of the agreement.

The club’s search for a new sponsor is not likely to be straightforward in the current economic climate, with the coronavirus pandemic seeing advertising revenues and demand for commercial agreements decline worldwide. But Bournemouth will be boosted by the news that all nine of their remaining Premier League matches are set to be broadcast live, including their high-profile fixtures against Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

M88, founded in 2007, are managed by Vivaro Limited and are a separate company from Mansion Europe. M88 are based in Malta and have a strong presence in Asia, operating in countries including China, Thailand and South Korea. It has been reported that the company will be withdrawing their services from Cambodia and Malaysia from May 31.

Bournemouth’s partnership with Mansion, who have sponsored the club since 2015 and were the main shirt sponsor before M88, remains unaffected and Mansion.com’s logo will continue to feature on the club’s shirt sleeve.

Mansion are currently Newcastle United’s official betting partner, a role they held previously with Leicester City during the 2018-19 season and Manchester City in 2011. They have also previously sponsored the shirts of both Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace.

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In the meantime, Bournemouth have also unveiled new “golden kiwi and blue sapphire” Umbro training gear for the 2020-21 season, which will also be used from now and until the end of the current season.

M88, Mansion and Vivaro were contacted by The Athletic for comment.

(Photo: Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)