English Premier League club Norwich closed their new sponsored T-shirt deal with a gambling operator on Thursday after a reaction from fans at the company, using sexual images of young women in social media marketing.
The deal with Asian gambling company BK8 was announced on Monday and terminated within three days.
“We were wrong about that,” Norwich said in a statement.
“The club apologizes for this and any violation.”
The deal was the third consecutive gambling operator to appear on Norwich’s shirts, winning the run-off championship to regain its place in the Premier League on the first try.
Norwich said he was “expecting some negative responses to the betting partnership announcement” but that BK8’s marketing values were “not in line with those of the football club”.
The club has been widely praised for interacting with fans while being the majority owner for 25 years by TV chef Delia Smith. She is a rarity among Premier League owners as she is a longtime fan who lives in the local community.
However, Norwich staff did not appear to have conducted a proper investigation into BK8’s sexualized Instagram posts, which fans expressed concerns within an hour of announcing the sponsorship.
“As a self-financing club, there is always a fine balance between generating the levels of revenue needed to maintain this model, while working within our visions and values,” said Ben Kensel, the club’s chief operating officer.
“On this occasion, we made a mistake in the assessment. We want to continue to incorporate a highly inclusive culture in the club, along with an accessible and friendly environment free from degrading and discriminatory behavior. “