Going into the second year of their latest Premier League stint, English club Nottingham Forest has announced Asian sports betting firm Kaiyun Sports as their new front-of-shirt sponsor.
Forest announced the two-year deal on Wednesday, August 30, with the company’s logo appearing on the club’s shirts for the first time that evening in a Carabao Cup tie against Burnley.
“We look forward to working closely with Kaiyun Sports on a number of exciting activations and initiatives to engage with new and existing audiences in Asia and across the world,” the NFFC website quotes an unnamed club spokesperson as saying. “Kaiyun Sports have a reputation for redefining the fan experience for global audiences of the Premier League and other dominant European leagues.”
“The collaboration with Nottingham Forest Football Club will be a milestone for us to step onto the global stage,” adds Kaiyun Sports’ chief marketing officer Byrne Howard.
Forest were promoted to the Premier League for the 2022-23 season, their first time back in England’s top flight in 23 years. They played without a front-of-shirt sponsor from August to December 2022. Starting on January 1, 2023, they sported the logo of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on their shirts for the rest of the season.
Kaiyun Sports also has partnerships with other major European football clubs including Real Madrid and Inter Milan.
After much debate, Premier League clubs have agreed to voluntarily ban betting firms as front-of-shirt sponsors, but that ban doesn’t take effect until the end of the 2025-26 Premier League season. That has led to Forest and other clubs signing new sponsorship deals with betting firms that expire before the ban takes effect.
The voluntary ban on front-of-shirt sponsorship has likely staved off a complete ban of on gambling advertising at football matches that the United Kingdom government was contemplating. After 2025-26, betting firms will still be able to put their logos on the sleeves of Premier League clubs’ jerseys and advertise on pitchside digital boards.