Wolves’ new shirt sponsor is the W88 but who are they?

When Wolves dropped out of controversial shirt sponsor The Money Shop, many fans naturally expected a big name to line up to take their place in preparation for the Premier League.

But after the club announced that it was a lucrative two-year deal with an Asian online betting and gaming company, they have been scratched in the head and wondered who the W88 is?

A simple search on Google does not really help much – access to the majority of the company’s website seems to be restricted in this country and the only listing for W88 on Wikipedia describes it as a “heat core from the US” – clearly not the right W88.

But we live in an age of social media, so after turning to Facebook, we can find some more clues. The W88, founded in 2013, says it is licensed and supervised in the Philippines and is “rapidly growing” and employs more than 1,000 people.

It clearly specialises in sports betting, live casinos, poker and arcade games and lottery games from Beijing, Australia, Canada, Slovakia and Malta, which are available in eight languages, including English, Mandarin, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Khmer.

The company also has ties to English football, with Emile Heskey, a former Three Lions and Liverpool player, being registered as the brand’s ambassador in February this year.

When he was revealed, the retired footballer, who played 500 league games over an 18-year career, said he was “proud” to have been hired and would offer “football advice, news, predictions and game analysis” for the W88 website.

On its Facebook page, W88 states: “Our restless professionals are ready to offer uncompromising sports entertainment with quality service, confidentiality and innovative products.”

Although it says on the website: “Our goal is to dominate the market in providing you with the best quality service, gaming innovation, value, user-friendly interface and the best online betting experience, confidentiality, a secure and controlled environment.”

When Wolves announced the deal, Laurie Dalrymple, CEO of W88, met with business development director Hilly Ehrlich, who appears to be as mysterious as the company he represents with very little information about him available online.

An Internet search indicates that a graduate of Tel Aviv University is based in Israel and describes himself as an “elder pioneer in the online gambling industry”.

He founded BeatTheBubble.com, a company that offers tournament poker insurance and has been a part-time poker player and amateur since the 1970s.

He also appears to have been involved in Party Poker’s online gaming site and has served as Vice President of Online Marketing for the World Poker Tour and Head of Poker for Intercontinental Online Gaming.

Speaking about W88’s partnership with Wolves, Ehrlich, who honoured the club’s “rich sporting heritage”, said it was a “big step” in expanding the company’s “global footprint”.

While the deal may have come as a surprise to fans, Ninder Johal, a member of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said that from a commercial point of view, it makes sense.

Ninder Johal, a member of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, says he believes the company’s enthusiasm for exposure in the UK, along with the financial benefits for Wolves and the company’s Chinese owners, have all played a part.

“From the customer’s perspective, this is the amount aay. I don’t think sponsorship deals are driven by a brand or a name.

I expect the company to want to come to the UK, and they are using Wolverhampton Wanderers to bring their brand there,” he said.

The W88 logo, which will be changed to black and gray, rather than the brand’s blue color, will also appear on the entire range of Wolves training clothing, which will be released along with the new home kit later this month.

However, due to the nature of the business, the brand will not be on any products designed for supporters under the age of 18 with a special sponsor for younger outfits that will be announced.

Mr Johal said: “It’s good that the sponsor will not be on kits sold for children and this also shows the company’s willingness to come to the UK as they will have thought that there are only so many shirts that can be printed on. their brand.”

The ownership of clubs such as Wolves, Aston Villa, and West Bromwich Albion reflects the ownership of the club, he added.

Meanwhile, Professor Mike Haynes of Wolverhampton University said the grant agreement was a sign of the times.

The economics of the Premier League has become more and more detached from its home base, and when you add to this the fact that clubs can become trophies for their owners, it becomes easier to understand deals like this,” he told me.