LA Galaxy football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is rumored to have become the brand ambassador and co-owner of Malta’s licensed gambling operator, Bethard. According to the company’s official website, this is a significant step in their ambition to create Europe’s leading sports betting company, and there is little denying that this is a step in the right direction.
The 36-year old Ibrahimovic, who joined the LA Galaxy team after departing from Manchester United at the beginning of the month, has been brought on with the intention to grow the company and help it become licensed in a vast number of European markets. The time scale allocated for this goal is that by 2020 Bethard will have reached multiple nations of the globe.
Of course, this isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, the first time that Ibrahimovic has been involved in the digital side of investments. In fact, the star has been building on his business empire for many years. For example, in the fall of 2016, Ibrahimovic purchased 12.5% of the Swedish gaming studio Isbit Games, all while also investing in an e-sport company called Challengermode.
The main difference is that his recent ties with Bethard have reached the ears of the English Football Association, which is now investigating whether or not the football player signed any contract with the sports betting company while still under contract with Manchester United. As it stands, the FA rules entirely prohibit active players from consulting, promoting, or even being associated with any betting companies.
Continuing the line of speculation, we could say that it was Ibrahimovic’s recent move to the Major League Soccer (MLS) that may have triggered the deal with Bethard, meaning that the 36-year old might have not been involved in any wrongdoing.
Of course, this probable explanation has not stopped others from harsh judgments. While we understand that this may not be the first or last time that Ibrahimovic has ventured into the world of iGaming, there is no clear link pointing to the idea that the player was involved with the betting company while playing for Manchester United.
The inevitable move to MLS and the LA Galaxy
According to different reports, the Californian club LA Galaxy revealed that it had been working for years and years on bringing Ibrahimovic over. Not only that, but the company also mentioned having wanted David Beckham as well.
Overall, the player’s move away from the European football league could be seen as a doorway to new opportunities and possible ventures, including building on his business empire before hanging up his boots once and for all. Thus, the question on a lot of people’s mind is, why Bethard?
Within the United Kingdom, Ibrahimovic has become a household name, and we would have expected that one of the best betting sites in the UK would have considered themselves lucky to be endorsed by the player.
But, it all became clear during an interview with Bethard's CEO, Erik Skarp, who revealed that the former Man Utd. star fully shares the values of his company, including the idea that winners should always dare for more.
Also, Ibrahimovic stated during an interview that Bethard is different; they are a company with ingrained Swedish roots, with founders who come from his own hometown. Moreover, he believes that the company is trying to challenge the way that sports betting happens nowadays, and he feels privileged to be part of something bigger and different.
“Zlatan is not just a poster boy. He will only commit to something that he can stand behind fully. It’s not about the money,” said Skarp.
In the brand-new TV commercial launched by Bethard, fans can see Ibrahimovic side by side with long-time ambassador Dragomir Mrsic. If you haven’t yet watched it, you’re missing out. The entire 1 minute and 42 seconds have a good portion of humor in it, toppled with eye-catching flames, tiger sounds, action, and the beloved afternoon tea.
Overall, there seems to have been in shift in dynamics, and the video featuring the football players shies away from the classic hard Bethard style we’ve all become accustomed to. The conscientious move in the businesses’ direction has been made because the Swedish-based company feels that they have portrayed themselves as too tough or harsh. Now, a different path will be approached, and the duo, Ibrahimovic, and Mrsic are at the forefront of the change.
What the new approach means in real money talk, we don’t know, but the truth is that Ibrahimovic is entering the company not solely as a collaborator, but an active part-owner. Apparently, Bethard believes that the company has the potential of inspiring online gamblers to get more involved in sports betting, and with such an influential football figure alongside them, this is just the beginning.
In fact, the company has stated that they hope that Ibrahimovic will be involved in a lot more than just online ads and TV campaigns. Instead, by giving Zlatan a reasonable piece of the pie, the goal is to make all the pieces fall together and create a long-term collaboration that will prosper.
To sum up, one thing is for sure: the partnership speaks volumes about this betting company, and also about the former Man Utd. player who seems to share the company’s goals and value. While there might still be some speculation to whether the football star has or hasn’t breached his contract with Manchester United, fans seem delighted that he has been using his charming personality and football knowledge to create a better gambling experience for all of us, now and in the future.
After all, the online sport betting industry is booming at the moment, and with a prominent figure supporting them, Bethard might just be heading in the right direction. Due to this and more, we’re eagerly waiting to see what’s next on Bethard’s schedule and plans, and we have high hopes that other players could soon become part of this exciting movement.