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Bethard is an up-and-coming online gaming operator based in Malta that is currently in the process of expanding throughout key territories in Europe. The Bethard Group prides itself on its strong sportsbook and “state of the art technical platform”. It is expanding quickly and its strong brand is one of the key reasons that it is enjoying so much success.
The brand is bold. This is one of the key reasons that it is growing so well in a competitive space. Its black and yellow color scheme hints at a company with a vision, so it makes absolute sense that it decided to partner with one of the world’s most confident football stars, Zlatan Ibrahimović.
Bethard and Zlatan: The Unexpected Partnership
Why did Bethard, a Betting Exchange, Choose Zlatan?
Looking to learn more about this partnership between the two Swedish parties? Here is everything that you need to know about Bethard and Zlatan. Zlatan hardly needs an introduction. Over the course of his career, the Swedish superstar has played and won silverware at some of the world’s biggest clubs including Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, PSG and Manchester United.
He is undoubtedly one of the greatest Swedish sportspersons in history, and he knows it. Zlatan has a brash persona and often refers to himself in the third person. He has built a cult following both on and off the pitch with this personality and he continues to impress. This is why he was the perfect fit for Bethard. Erik Sharp is the co-founder and chief executive of the Bethard Group. He says that “we have taken a bold decision to start building next-generation sports betting brand and we are of course super excited to welcome Zlatan onboard.” Zlatan’s charisma and brand are going to be powerful assets as Bethard continues with its goal of expanding into more key European markets before the end of 2020.
Star Power in Complex Times
The world of sports betting advertising is rapidly changing. There are a lot of interesting initiatives in development to ensure that advertising is responsible and sensible without harming those individuals who are potentially at risk. There are many moves to reduce the prominence of advertising on live broadcasts, for example. Another high-profile story appeared in the headlines recently when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apparently expressing his upset at his likeness being used in a Paddy Power advert.
By partnering with Zlatan so prominently, Bethard has managed to establish their link into the footballing world. The more this link is developed, the more well-known Bethard will be among footballing fans. It’s a good strategy and one that could prove to be effective over the coming years.
Was There Controversy?
The deal was met with opposition by some groups in Sweden. The Organisation for Gambling Addicts (known in Sweden as the Spelberoendes Riksförbund) was quick to release a statement disparaging the move. In an open letter, the group asked that Zlatan reverse his move and switch sides to help combat gambling addiction issues in the country. Some people agreed with this perspective, while others were quick to support Zlatan.
For his own part, Zlatan stirred up more controversy by suggesting Sweden’s government-owned casino operator was to blame for many of those problems. This broadened the conversation significantly and as the partnership between Zlatan and Bethard continues, we can perhaps expect this conversation to be an ongoing one.
When Was the Deal Signed?
The deal was signed back in March 2018. The date is significant because it was just after Zlatan terminated his contract with Manchester United and joined with LA Galaxy. The English Football Association maintains strict rules about active players being associated with betting companies, so it was Zlatan’s move away from the UK that allowed him to make this leap. The same rules do not apply in the US.
There is some room for concern, however, as some believe that the FA may investigate the matter further given that Zlatan could have been in negotiations while he was a player registered as working with Manchester United. This is an ongoing story and a lot of speculation remains.
What has Zlatan Said about the Deal?
Zlatan appears to be very excited about the brand and the identity that he shares with it: the founders are from Zlatan’s own hometown and share his common roots. In typical fashion, Zlatan was quick to establish some additional context around his move: “I have obviously been intensively courted by betting companies throughout my career, but up until now, I have not been presented to anything that has triggered me. With Bethard, there was something different. It’s a company with Swedish roots, the founders are from my home town and they are true challengers who really want to do things differently.”
From the positive sound of things, we can expect Zlatan and Bethard to enjoy an enduring relationship. While Zlatan is still impressing in the MLS, his professional football career is winding down and it will be interesting to see where he places his indomitable focus next.
What Does Zlatan Do for Bethard?
Currently, it looks as though Zlatan is primarily assisting with branding activities and advertising. He is technically a brand ambassador, but his name alone is enough to attract millions of eyeballs to the brand, and a range of exciting videos have already hit the market. The “Be Soft” videos are fun and quirky, helping to establish Bethard as an exciting brand that is looking to shake things up while offering a solid gaming experience.
It does sound as though Zlatan might be doing more behind the scenes, though, based on comments from Erik Sharp. He said that “through the agreement, we will not only have an outstanding brand ambassador, but also a very engaged co-owner who I know will push us relentlessly forward.” It will be very interesting indeed to see how the two parties go forwards together.
Last update: April 2019