Plus500 agrees lucrative sponsorship deal with Atlético Madrid

Despite a takeover approach and the City watchdog order, Plus500 revealed it had “upgraded” its agreement with the football club and will be the main shirt sponsor for the next two seasons.

It is also in the process of rechecking the identity of every customer at its UK business, but has still hammered out a new deal with the club utilising lucrative branding opportunities. 

The trading platform’s logo will feature in a prominent position on the front of the team’s home and away kits, while it will also have branding rights at the Vicente Calderón Stadium. This marked a change from the previous arrangement where the logo had featured on the back of the shirts.

Plus500 did not disclose how much the sponsorship deal would cost, but as industry sources estimated the last deal with the logo on the back of the shirts would have costed up to £1.07m alone – it is likely to be in the millions.

The Spanish football club has seen a remarkable turnaround in fortune, following a sub-par 2009-2010 season, winning the Europa League twice in three years and the Copa del Rey against fierce local rivals Real Madrid.

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Since manager Diego Simeone came on board, the club also featured in its first Champions League final since 1974 in 2014 – again taking on Real Madrid, though it lost in extra time. Atlético did though, win La Liga for the first time since 1996 after equalising against Barcelona on the last day of the season.

The timing of this deal may be good in terms of the Spanish club’s success and its regular appearances on the European stage, but it also comes at a time when Plus500 is in the middle of a regulatory crisis. The Financial Conduct Authority ordered the company to freeze thousands of its customer accounts in May 2015, while it conducted stringent anti-money laundering accounts.

While the spreadbetter said 8,457 accounts had been unfrozen in June, the regulatory intervention had caused the group’s shares to halve.

It wouldn’t be the first time a company secured a lucrative sponsorship deal, only to hit a rocky financial situation. Northern Rock previously sponsored Newcastle before its collapse, Autonomy sponsored Tottenham Hotspur before its much-criticised takeover by HP and West Ham’s XL sponsorship also preceded the company’s collapse.

Plus500’s board accepted a £460m bid from gambling software group Playtech in June 2015. Playtech is run by Israeli tycoon Teddy Sagi – who also owns Market Tech and has invested millions securing an 11-acre real estate portfolio in Camden.

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