City announce betting firm BK8 as new shirt sponsor

Behind the scenes from the BK8 main sponsorship announcement at Norwich City, Carrow Road.

Norwich City have announced BK8 as the club's new principal partner, with club ambassador Darren Eadie and chief operating officer Ben Kensell, right, in the foreground - Credit: Norwich City/Matthew Usher

Gambling firm BK8 have been confirmed as Norwich City’s new shirt sponsor ahead of the 2021-22 Premier League season. 

The Canaries announced on Sunday that an agreement with their previous ‘principal partner’ Dafabet had come to an end a year early. 

Eagle-eyed City supporters had spotted the BK8 branding at Carrow Road last month, with photos circulating online and sparking speculation about the firm’s imminent deal. 

The Canaries previously had nine seasons with insurance giant Aviva as their front-of-shirt sponsor, with gambling firms following since 2017, with two years with LeoVegas followed by two years with Dafabet. 

MORE: Norwich asked BK8 to remove social media posts

BK8, which has headquarters in Malta and is a major player in the Asian betting market, has agreed to tweak the colours of its logo to fit in with City’s kit – replacing their usual blue and orange with two tones of green. 

The new home kit is due to be unveiled ahead of pre-season beginning in early July but the colour of the logo has been shown in publicity photos released this morning as the deal was announced. 

City’s chief operating officer, Ben Kensell, explained: “We’re delighted to welcome BK8 as our new principal partner. It is excellent that they see the value in working with Norwich City. 

“BK8 will undoubtedly be a new brand for City fans, however, they’re a well trusted name across Asia. The Premier League has an accumulative TV audience of over three billion and is broadcast into over a billion homes – a huge proportion of these Premier League fans are based in Asia. 

“Supporting BK8 in marketing to this global Premier League fanbase equally affords us as a club the opportunity to further our own exposure and commercial efforts into those markets.

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“Both the club and BK8 are committed to supporting the ongoing review into betting and sports sponsorship. The club continues to adhere to both an internal code of conduct, as well as the policies and guidelines put in place by the Betting & Gaming Council, when carrying out marketing campaigns with betting and gaming brands. 

“The industry continues to provide a valuable source of revenue to the club that makes a meaningful difference to our wider objectives as a club.” 

The new partnership follows a December announcement of a government review of gambling laws to ensure the Gambling Act of 2005 is fit for the digital age.  

Kensell has spoken to us previously about the need for City to maximise all revenue streams as a self-funded club, while acknowledging that gambling sponsorship was a "contentious issue" that the club tried to balance with its community initiatives. 

Behind the scenes from the BK8 main sponsorship announcement at Norwich City, Carrow Road.

BK8 have been announced as Norwich City's new principal partner and shirt sponsors - Credit: Norwich City/Matthew Usher

Other club partnerships also appear on City kits and facilities which are not related to gambling, including local motoring company Lotus, Woodforde's Brewery, Regency Security and Fosters Solicitors.

Badu Sports also featured on the home and third kits last season - which focuses on creating life-changing opportunities for young people from underrepresented backgrounds in the UK - as part of a three-way partnership with gaming advertising technology firm Bidstack. 

The club have also worked closely on mental health issues with men’s makeup firm War Paint this season, with club legend Darren Eadie presenting a series of videos. 

Eadie, who works as an ambassador for the Canaries, has also joined BK8 as a brand spokesman as part of the deal and features alongside fellow City legend Grant Holt in a glitzy reveal video online, as a drone flies around Carrow Road at night, lit up in yellow and green.

The length of the deal with BK8 has initially just been described as being for the 2021-22 seasons.

- If you are concerned about your gambling habits, or those of a loved one, click here for a list of services publicised by the NHS including from GameCare And Gamblers Anonymous UK. 

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