Nõmme Kalju FC and Optibet, a sports betting portal and online casino that will start operations in Estonia in the nearest few weeks, have signed a long-term cooperation contract. For at least the next three years, the logo of Optibet will adorn the front of all shirts of youth, men’s and women’s teams of Optibet Nõmme Kalju. The cooperation contract will be valid until the end of 2016, and is worth 360,000 euros.
Madis Herkül, member of the Management Board of Optibet Estonia OÜ, said that the sponsorship agreement that has been signed is definitely one of the most important cooperation projects for Optibet in the next few years. “Already in the very first meetings last autumn we and Nõmme Kalju FC developed mutual understanding that this cooperation which has now been agreed is situation where one plus one equals at least three. And, possibly, even more,” said Herkül, commenting the significant amount of the sponsorship contract.
Kuno Tehva, President of Nõmme Kalju, adds:
“The contract that we have signed in definitely recognition of the consistency and work we have done in Kalju. We are proud that more and more Estonian enterprises have started to sponsor sports and that part of this sponsorship is reaching also football. We believe that with the help of Optibet we can take another major step in terms of sports and marketing. Although the Optibet sponsorship is mainly targeted at the flagship team of Nõmme Kalju, it will also help the development of our youth teams. Examples in sports are always very important for children and in the future the young players of Kalju can make history especially in our flagship team.“
Optibet belongs to Swedish enterprise Nordic Leisure AB that was founded in 2002 and is quoted on the Nasdaq/OMX First North list. Nordic Leisure AB that is about to expand into Estonia already owns one of the world’s oldest online casinos GoldClubCasino.com. In Latvia it owns a sports betting portal and online casino Optibet.lv.
The largest shareholder of Nordic Leisure AB is Niklas Braathen who has been closely connected with organizing gaming in the Baltic countries also before. In 2005 he sold Latvia’s second-largest casino operator Baltic Gaming SIA to Olympic Entertainment Group for EUR 13.5 million.
Nõmme Kalju is a historic Estonian football club that has its base in Nõmme.
In addition to Nõmme Kalju FC, its flagship team, the club has 30 different teams with a total of 600 young players. Training takes place almost in all districts of Tallinn. The football club has two youth centres: Hiiu football stadium in Nõmme and the newly-opened Kalju House of Games in Haabersti which also hosts the club’s office. It is planned that to build the club’s new training centre in the same area. In spring and autumn Nõmme Kalju FC trains on Hiiu stadium, and in summers in Kadrioru stadium which is also the home stadium of Nõmme Kalju FC in league matches.
In 2012 Nõmme Kalju FC was crowned the champion of Estonia and won the FIFA Fair Play Award. Nõmme Kalju was also voted the Town’s Team of the Year by the residents of Tallinn. In the U17 Eliitliiga, the junior team of Nõmme Kalju won Estonian youth championship.
In 2013 Nõmme Kalju FC have a successful start in the UEFA Champions’ League by winning 25-time Finnish champion Helsinki HJK and securing entry to the next round. The success came to a halt in the play-off round where it lost to the major Ukraine club FC Dnipro. In the Estonian championship, the team won silver, while Kalju’s second team won Esiliiga B.
MTÜ Nõmme Kalju FC is a not-for-profit organization. Its budget for 2014 is EUR 930,000 of which 320,000 euros will be spent on youth. The organization’s financing sources include participation fees, state grants and local government support for youth sports and from sponsorships. As for sponsorship deals, it accounts for about 50% of the organization’s income. Main expenses are salaries of coaches and players, rent for various stadiums and training bases, equipment, training, camps, transport, medicine, etc. The list of biggest sponsors of Nõmme Kalju includes such names as Maxima, adidas, Järve Keskus, Mega Meedia, Tulika takso etc. The football club itself participates in charity work through the charitable online portal Help.ee.