The bank Belfius, the main sponsor of Club Brugge and Anderlecht, has left. Thomas Peeters, Sports Economist at Erasmus School of Economics, explains why and what the consequences are.
Peeters explains that Belfius has made a well-considered choice that can be justified. After all, many large companies are active in football, competing for sponsorships. Examples are breweries, crypto companies and gambling websites. As a result, the prices for such contracts are significantly higher than in other sports. An alternative is hockey. Peeters: 'For a similar amount, Belfius can be the undisputed number one in hockey. It's a sport that's also much more in keeping with the target group of their Candriam brand. That's where they find the more affluent client. So it's a justifiable choice.'
The gambling industry is legally obliged to stop sponsoring the big football clubs from 2025. This will have a far greater effect than the removal of Belfius. All sixteen football clubs active in the first division are sponsored by gambling companies. This offers opportunities for other types of sponsors, as the demand for sponsorship increases. 'For certain sectors, such as breweries, the main sponsorship of a football club is too expensive today. They will soon be able to take advantage of the need for new sponsors to obtain a more favourable deal,' says Peeters.