First Team 14/06/2019

Official: Sportsbet.io Becomes New Front Of Shirt Sponsor

Watford FC is delighted to announce that it has reached an agreement with Coingaming for its sport betting brand, Sportsbet.io, to become the club’s new front of shirt partner from the beginning of the 2019/20 season.

Not only is it the club’s largest ever sponsorship deal but it is the first Premier League shirt front deal signed by a company who are known for their block chain technology and cryptocurrency expertise. As a club that strives to innovate and do things differently, we are delighted to be working with Sportsbet.io on their first Premier League partnership.

Sportsbet.io have chosen Watford FC to be their only Premier League shirt partner as they push the brand to a global audience. As an indication of the brand’s commitment to collaboration and creativity, we are delighted to reveal that they have changed the colours of their logo to seamlessly integrate with our home kit in 2019/20.

With the company being run by committed sport lovers, this desire to consider the club and the fans will always be at the forefront of Sportsbet.io’s thinking. In this regard, Watford FC will be working closely with Sportsbet.io’s talented team in Estonia to develop activation initiatives in a range of international markets and we look forward to the benefits that this will bring the club over the next 12 months. In particular, Watford FC and Sportsbet.io will work together to launch a number of initiatives that will delight our most ardent supporters.

Spencer Field, Global Strategy & Partnerships Director of Watford FC, said: “This is an important year for the club as we aim to improve on a fantastic season both on and off the pitch in 2018/19.

“Our desire to increase our global reach while continuing to make our fans proud by doing things differently in the Watford way is fully supported by Sportsbet.io.

“We are thrilled to have found a partner that matches our ethos by looking to disrupt the betting industry and offer their customers a fun, fast and fair experience.

Justin Le Brocque, Head of Sportsbook Marketing at Sportsbet.io, said: “The Premier League is the most watched sports league in the world, so we are absolutely delighted to announce a major sponsorship deal with one of its most celebrated teams.

“Like Watford, Sportsbet.io knows no borders in its efforts to bring fun, fast and fair entertainment and excellence to a truly global audience. We are both looking to disrupt more established competitors and need to be creative in the way we approach this challenge.

“We share the club’s desire to combine passion and innovation to reach the top, and we look forward to doing everything we can to support Watford next season and beyond.”

Regarding sponsorship of the Ladies’ team, Justin Le Brocque said “We’re very proud. Equality and diversity is embedded in Sportsbet.io’s ethos, so we’ll be looking to make that message clear as we involve ourselves fully right across the club.”

He added: “It’s exciting to think we can play a supporting role in the success of both of the club’s most senior teams.”

First Team 13/06/2019

Gracia On Fixtures: “Starting At Home Is The Best News”

Within an hour or two of their release, Javi Gracia walked through the club’s London Colney training base carrying a freshly-printed list of Watford’s 2019/20 fixtures, already colour coded and annotated with his own handwritten notes.

Such is the Head Coach’s attention to detail that Gracia is wasting no time in ensuring appropriate plans are put in place now the Hornets know where the Premier League schedule will take them and when.

Once again, Brighton are to be the first challengers, visiting Vicarage Road on the opening day for the second season running, having fallen foul of two Roberto Pereyra goals last time around.

That win set Watford on course for a formidable 100 per cent start after the first four fixtures had been played in 2018/19 – Burnley, Crystal Palace and Tottenham also defeated – and Gracia is setting his sights on another strong start when August comes around.

Last season Javi Gracia shared the touchline with Chris Hughton, but this time he'll be facing new Brighton boss Graham Potter

“We are excited,” he said, speaking to watfordfc.com shortly after today’s 9am announcement.

“I’m looking forward to the first game. It will be the same as last season against Brighton and we will try to prepare for that game during the whole of pre-season, trying to start the same way we did last season.

“We knew already we would have to play against all the teams but now when I see the schedule my first impression is good. I’m happy and I’m looking forward to the games.”

Never shy in citing the advantage he believes his players gain from playing in front of Watford’s home crowd, Gracia is particularly pleased the Hornets’ campaign will – for the third year running – commence on familiar ground.

“I think it’s the best news for me – to start by playing at home. Playing at Vicarage Road with our supporters is the best news for us,” he said.

Javi Gracia will oversee his second pre-season at Watford having arrived in January 2018

Not even four weeks have passed since the final whistle sounded on Watford’s 2018/19 season, but Gracia admits his mind turned immediately to the next campaign as soon as last month’s FA Cup final was over.

And preparations will gather pace over the coming weeks as the Spaniard and his staff ensure they’re ready for what will be an important pre-season period in July.

“We still have time to rest a little bit and to prepare more things but when you finish one season, from the next day you start to think about the next season,” he said.

“It’s our lives, our passion. You are already speaking about players, taking an interest in other competitions and thinking about the international players you have playing in different games.

“This morning I was waiting for the moment when we could see all the fixtures and you are always thinking about the games, about your rivals, about the team, and trying to find a way to prepare as well as possible during pre-season for all the games we are going to play.”

Javi Gracia in conversation with Technical Director Filippo Giraldi

Fresh from a break in his native Spain, Gracia’s return to Hertfordshire has coincided with the onset of some typically British weather, not that he’ll allow a bit of wind and rain to hamper pre-season plans.

“I’ve been in Spain with the sun so now I’m not so worried about the weather,” he smiled.

“There will be good days and not so good days – just like in other countries, even Spain – but when we start to work, in that moment we only are focused on our job.”