Parimatch remains partnered with Chelsea despite suspension reports

By Robert Fletcher

Parimatch Tech has denied reports it will end its partnership with Chelsea but did confirm it would be limiting joint marketing activity with the English Premier League football club in order to focus on its efforts helping Ukraine.

Reports emerged this week that Parimatch Tech would suspend or terminate its deal with Chelsea due to the club’s ownership by Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch who has reported links with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

In recent weeks, Abramovich has been handed a series of sanctions by the UK and Europe. Among these were the freezing of his assets in the UK, including Chelsea, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This meant that Chelsea had been unable to perform revenue-generating activities such as the sale of tickets, and certain partners such as mobile phone network 3 suspended marketing deals in response.

Parimatch Tech has been vocally critical of the invasion and has announced a series of its own measures to support people in Ukraine.

However, Parimatch Tech said that while it would scale back joint marketing activity with the club in order to focus more on its efforts in Ukraine, it would remain in partnership with the team.

The two parties entered into the partnership in August last year, with the deal running to the 2023-24 season.

“A few reports on Parimatch’s partnership with Chelsea have appeared in the media – sadly, our position has been misinterpreted in a few publications,” Parimatch Tech told iGB.

“Parimatch is not terminating or suspending the contract with Chelsea FC. We are limiting our joint marketing and brand campaigns to focus all our efforts on helping Ukraine.

“All of our current activity in the public domain is aimed at raising awareness about the war. And we intend to use the resources at hand, including the club's LED display systems, to promote our volunteering and donation activities.”

Earlier this month, Parimatch Tech announced it was to withdraw its franchise from Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Betring LLC had been operating the Parimatch brand in Russia under a deal agreed with Parimatch Tech in 2016, whereby all rights to use the Parimatch trademark in the country were transferred to Betring.

However, Parimatch Tech has sent termination documents to Betring to cease operating the brand in Russia.

Parimatch Tech has also committed UAH60m (£1.5m/€1.8m/$2.0m) to helping people in Ukraine amid the ongoing invasion. The business initially set aside UAH30m to help Ukrainians but increased this amount to provide additional assistance.

The provider has already spent UAH42m, including UAH39m on ammunition and UAH3m on medicines.

In addition, the business’s Parimatch Foundation non-profit launched a charitable fundraiser to help purchase and deliver food and medicine, as well as to assist with the evacuation of victims.

The Parimatch brand was founded in Ukraine in 1994 and the main development centre of Parimatch Tech is currently located in the country's capital, Kyiv.

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