Unibet adds two years to Magnus Carlsen sponsorship deal

Jon Pill
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Posted on: April 4, 2022 12:06 am EDT

Unibet, the most prominent brand in the Kindred Group, has extended its sponsorship deal with ex-model and current chess world champion, Magnus Carlsen.

Carlsen is an appropriate choice for Unibet. Unibet was the first online gambling firm to create a market for betting on chess games.

Chess is an internationally recognized mind sport, with a relatively clean reputation in the general public’s mind. So Carlsen is well-chosen as an ambassador for Unibet’s safe gambling initiative.

“Just as I have set a hair-raising goal of becoming the first chess player in the world to reach 2,900 rating points, Kindred, as the first global gambling operator, has set itself an ambition of zero revenue from customers with harmful gambling behavior,” Carlsen said.

The Kindred Groups’s stated goal is to reach 0% revenue from harmful gambling by 2023. This feels like a bit of an admission as to where much of their revenue comes from right now.

“This is an ambition I would like to contribute to achieving and a message I am happy to support,” Carlsen added. “In top sports, it is about pushing the boundaries, but at the same time, you have to know your limitations and know when to stop. The same thing is important when gambling; you need to stay in control.”

It is a tenuous link. But it is the main thrust of the press release, which focuses almost exclusively on the Journey Towards Zero initiative.

Norwegian wood-pushers

The real benefit to Carlsen — in addition to his paycheque — is that the Kindred Group will also continue to support Offerspill, Norway’s largest chess club. Carlsen founded Offerspill in 2019, and joined Unibet in 2020.

“Over the last two years, Offerspill made an impressive effort to lift Norwegian chess to a new level, especially during the pandemic,” says Nils Andén, Chief Commercial Officer, Kindred Group. “Such a boost requires funding, and we are proud to contribute, and at the same time promote our message of safety, sustainability, and responsibility in entertainment-based gambling through the club.”

Chess an increasingly big deal since The Queen’s Gambit came to Netflix expanding the number of people who follow the game. In turn, the number of dollars available to wager on a given match is higher.

That boost has helped Carlsen and Offerspill’s profile immeasurably.

“We see great potential in engaging the best chess player of all time,” Andén added. “As a global ambassador in the fight to combat problem gambling.”

Featured image source: Kindred Group