Sampoerna's Mansion scores Tottenham Hotspur

English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur struck a landmark new shirt sponsorship deal with Asian-backed internet casino operator, Mansion, set to be worth at least £34 million over the next four seasons. Mansion, which replaces holiday company Thomson as from July, will help Tottenham promote its brand in Asia and other international markets, develop an international supporters' club and set up a co-branded internet gaming site with shared revenue.

Mansion hit the headlines earlier this year after being rebuffed by Manchester United in talks over a far larger shirt sponsorship arrangement. United were thought to have been nervous about what would have been a close assocation with the gambling industry. As an operator of both internet sites and land-based entertainments, Mansion runs a sports exchange, online poker and has casino and hotel interests.

Tottenham said its agreement is among the top 10 most valuable of its type in world soccer, and it ranks closely behind the £50m deal Chelsea signed with South Korea's Samsung last year. Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy said: "Tottenham has made progress both on and off the pitch in recent years which has put the club in a good position to improve its commercial partnerships and the new agreement marks a significant uplift."

Mansion is controlled by Indonesian billionaire Putera Sampoerna. He is Indonesia's third-richest man, and last May his family raised about US$2 billion by selling control of clove/tobacco kretek cigarette manufacturing company, PT Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna, to Altria (Philip Morris) for US$5 billion. Mansion recently signed the biggest-ever televised poker deal with American TV giants Fox Sports Network. Its sports betting covers NFL and English Premier League, NBA and NCAA Basketball, Rugby and many more For bigger bets, Mansion Exchange combines interactive sports betting with the "competitive wholesale pricing of a live market".

Mansion's chief operating officer David Kinsman said: "We are investing considerably in the development of our brand and we have been looking to secure a major Premier League deal for some time." On a Mansion website, a Fox Sports Network executive vice president described Kinsman as "a marketing guru and a true brand builder." Kinsman joined Mansion (Gibraltar) Ltd as COO in November last year following the resignation of CEO David Dent, and assumed the most senior management role in the company. He previously had a long track record in the gaming industry in Australia, associated in executive management positions with Vidco, Olympic Gaming, Online Gaming Systems and Leisure and Gaming Corporation and as a consultant to gaming operators and suppliers.

See also: Value of English shirts to increase 25% next year (1 May) and Man U's $99m AIG shirt sponsor deal targets Asia (6 Apr)