Winamax appear to have shot themselves in the foot, a €1.3million sponsorship deal with a football club up in smoke after the French online poker and sportsbetting operator posted a series of derogatory tweets…
Girondins de Bordeaux. pic.twitter.com/5UBzn7mWtb
— Winamax Sport (@WinamaxSport) December 26, 2021
Winamax teamed up with French football team – FC Girondins de Bordeaux – barely six months ago. A 3-year deal, reportedly worth €1.3million annually, saw the Ligue 1 side sport the Winamax name on their shirts, but that partnership has ended acrimoniously following the rancorous tweets.
The tweet above, following a loss to Lille, asked fans to respond with sad stories consisting of three words – matching the three of the Girondins de Bordeaux club name. It was just the beginning of an incredible series of social media faux pas’ from Winamax.
More than 20 tweets that mocked the club’s recent performances were posted on the Winamax Sport Twitter account across several months, according to Radio network France Bleu.
No defense as Winamax go all-in
Even when it had become a major issue, the tweets kept coming, this next one in reply to the announcement that Coeur Marine et Blanc – the club’s charitable foundation – would now take pride of place on the club’s shirts, replacing Winamax.
Ça fait 1h qu’on cherche une bonne défense mais comme les Girondins, on ne trouve pas. https://t.co/K9ImEYqYsT
— Winamax Sport (@WinamaxSport) January 14, 2022
“We’ve been looking for a good defense for 1 hour, but like the Girondins, we can’t find it,” reads the tweeted quip in English, but the humour had long worn thin with the French top division club.
Girondins de Bordeaux’s deputy general manager, Thomas Jacquemier, explained the ending of the lucrative deal.
“We are terminating our partnership contract with Winamax, whose communication had dissociated itself from the club through videos or tweets about the last match,” announced Jacquemier, adding: “We have humour but here we are not in the spirit of a partnership.”
That partnership had previously seen the biggest French online poker and sportsbetting operator as the club’s principal sponsor from 2015-2019, last year inking a new deal to replace interim sponsors, French leisure and hospitality group Bistro Régent.
At the time of the new deal being signed, FB Bordeaux President, Gérard Lopez, stated: “The Club is proud to find Winamax as a major sponsor.”
“This agreement testifies to Winamax’s determination to support us in the development of the Club and its renewal. Together we will write a new page in the history of this historic Club.”
That new page had barely seen the ink dry before the controversial and somewhat puzzling focus of Winamax on the club’s losses, though the club finally ended its dismal run of results at the weekend with a 4-3 win against Strasbourg.
As for the financial hit to the club from the lucrative sponsorship deal ending, Jacquemier stated: “Yes, there is a shortfall but we will compensate for it with other income.”
It’s far from the first controversy the sportsbetting arm of the Winamax group have been embroiled in.
Last August they posted an offensive, now deleted, tweet “celebrating” two French teams making it to the Champions League semi-finals.
‘On prend l’Europe, on l’encule à deux’ – translates as ‘We take Europe, we fuck two’. The verb ‘encule’ can also be taken as to ‘fuck in the ass’, sparking the homophobia claims.
One politician called on the regulatory body for gambling in France, the ANJ, formerly ARJEL, to take action, claiming: “Faced with the lack of ethics of @WinamaxSport, @gouvernementFR and @ ANJ_FR must suspend the authorization given to Winamax to offer sports betting.”
Winamax Poker problems
On the poker side of things, a lawsuit was launched in 2018 against Winamax after a bot scandal hit the site. Six players initially launched the action, accusing Winamax of “failing to protect the integrity and transparency of its gaming operations” in relation to its Expresso games.
More recently, Winamax team pro, Ivan “ValueMergez” Deyra, was dumped by the site after multi-accounting his way to a €83,300 (roughly $101,000) victory on the site.
As we reported last year, the WSOP bracelet winner used his father’s account “MATIVANAO” in the Winamax Series €2,000 Super High Roller. A poker forum-led investigation saw internet sleuths discover that the name of the winning account was compiled of the first names of Deyra’s brothers and sisters.
We look forward to seeing the rematch if it happens.
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