|7th December 2005 London- Gamebookers (www.gamebookers.com), a leading European Internet Sports Betting Company,today announced that they are buying Basketball star Vladimir Petrovic for Greek League 1 basketball team Aris, and will pay his wages for the club.|
This groundbreaking deal builds on Gamebookers sponsorship of Aris for the 2005-2006 season and expands the company's significant investment in this storied basketball club.
Petrovic, who previously played for Aris from 1999- 2001, played for Italian team Siena Montepaschi last season, and comes with a wealth of European basketball experience, having also played in Germany, Spain and his native Serbia and Montenegro.
Gamebookers.com CEO John O Malia commented; 'This purchase is the first of its kind anywhere in the world - where a sponsor actually buys a player for a club in order to help them compete at the highest level. The fact that Gamebookers.com - the sponsor in this case - is an online bookmaker may be shocking to some, but our players are keen sports fans and we owe it to them to support the growth of sports in Europe. This move shows Gamebookers commitment to Aris, a club with a rich heritage and an extraordinary fan base, and to European sports in general. We are confident that Petrovic will give Aris the edge that they need to reach the top of the Greek and European tables, and therefore are pleased to make this purchase for the club. Such a fine player will benefit not only Aris but also the Gamebookers.com brand as a leading sponsor of the team. And we're keen to help other sports teams similarly to help them reach their full potential.'
Mr. Damianidis, President & CEO of Aris Basketball Club made the following comments about the deal: 'Our club has traditionally collaborated with industry leaders. As a company which operates throughout Europe, having a very strong presence in the Balkans, Gamebookers was naturally the newest addition to our 'family'. The Gamebookers representatives visited our headquarters in Thessaloniki on several occasions, and it was clear from the first moment that we shared the same goal to reach the top and the same passion to overcome any obstacle. For this reason, we proceeded to this unique proposal. This is a sponsorship like no other, and the beginning of a partnership with much promise for the future'.