TOTO expands Eredivisie footprint

TOTO Feyenoord Partnership

Dutch online sportsbook TOTO has agreed a deal with Eredivisie giants Feyenoord as it looks to capitalise on being the only regulated sports betting operator in the country for now. 

The deal with the Rotterdam-based club is the ninth side in the Dutch top flight that the operator has partnered with. 

This will be the first time that Feyenoord shall have a shirt sleeve sponsor which is not part of a main sponsorship. 

TOTO’s current sports betting permit in the Netherlands is valid until at least the end of 2021, by which it’s expected that more operators will have joined the market. 

Making the most of its head start 

Sports betting in the Netherlands is expected to open up to international operators next year. The Remote Gambling Act is planned to come into force from 1st January 2021, before the market goes live six months later. 

Feyenoord is the ninth Eredivisie club that TOTO has agreed a sponsorship deal with so far. The other eight are Sparta Rotterdam, Willem II, FC Utrecht, FC Groningen, ADO Den Haag, FC Twente and RKC Waalwijk

It’s expected that 10 top-flight clubs will be sponsored by the Dutch operator. This leaves eight spots for other operators once they enter the market, if those clubs wish to strike a deal with them. 

OPEL and ASR have both sponsored the 2016/17 Eredivisie champions in the past and, in addition to featuring on the front of their shirts, also had sleeve logos. However, these were both part of the main sponsorship. The partnership with TOTO is the first time that Feyenoord has signed a standalone sleeve sponsorship contract. 

As published by nu.nl, Feyenoord Commercial Director Joris van Dijk said the below about this new deal. 

“We are very happy with this contract, which we have entered into with TOTO for at least three years. It is a challenging time for the club that demands a lot of our energy to make sure we keep the budget in order.

“With this sleeve sponsorship, which is one of our largest sponsorship contracts, we take an important step forward in the ambitions we have for the coming season and the period thereafter.” 

Sports betting and football in the Netherlands 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands, Dutch football in the 2019/2020 season ended prematurely. Ajax were not awarded the title, despite being top at the time, and no teams were promoted or relegated. Feyenoord finished third in the final standings, six points behind their Amsterdam-based rivals and AZ Alkmaar

TOTO has said that it wants to help clubs affected financially by the pandemic. 

Sportsbooks who have previously operated in the Dutch without a permit, such as Unibet and William Hill, face a two-year cooling-off period when the market officially opens to international operators. Operators will also be obliged to wipe their pre-existing databases, in a bid to create a level playing field. 

The Remote Gambling Act has been forwarded to the European Commission for approval. There is currently an open consultation period on the legislation, which invites interested parties to provide their feedback.