The Colorful History of Real Betis FC
Representatives for one of the world’s most famous, and beloved, football teams, Real Betis, announced this week that they have signed a new sponsorship agreement with Cyprus-based trader easyMarkets. The deal is worth more than $2.2 million. The freshly-inked contract marks a milestone of sorts for a football organization that had previously struggled to amass enough sponsorship money to guarantee that all the bills get paid.
Only in 2011 did Real Betis make its return to La Liga, which itself was a major news story for the historic team that has had its share of ups and downs for more than a century. From 2011 onward, the sports organization’s business representatives went to work adding as many new sponsors as possible. In just six years, for example, the grand total of sponsor funding boomed upward, from $6 to $13. This new financial arrangement with easyMarkets is viewed by many in the business and sports world as being the final bit of financial success Real Betis needed to get back on the map as a solvent organization and major power in sports.
Sometimes called the “other” football club from Seville, Real Betis has indeed had a very long, sometimes contentious rivalry with the city’s other team, Sevilla FC. Sometimes likened to the historic battles between U.S.-based American football teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears, the Betis-Sevilla rivalry goes back decades. Millions of the nation’s fans have strong emotions, one way or another, for each of the teams.
Betis has the honor of holding the La Liga trophy from 1935 and a pair of similar accolades, the Copa del Rey championship, in 1977 and 2005. Founded in 1907 under a different name, Sevilla Balompie, the team eventually changed its name after a merger with Betis FC in 1914, from which year its current identity has been consistent. In 1920, the decision was made to take the white and green jerseys for which the team is known by its worldwide following.
etis has the honor of holding the La Liga trophy from 1935 and a pair of similar accolades, the Copa del Rey championship, in 1977 and 2005. Founded in 1907 under a different name, Sevilla Balompie, the team eventually changed its name after a merger with Betis FC in 1914, from which year its current identity has been consistent. In 1920, the decision was made to take the white and green jerseys for which the team is known by its worldwide following.
The Early Days
Competition was fierce in those early years, with Betis finally getting into the First Division after a final-round appearance in the cup tournament in 1931. When Betis defeated Real Madrid under their legendary coach, Patrick O’Connell from Ireland, their fate as a major force in football was sealed. However, several “dark years” were to follow, primarily the result of the championship squad disbanding and the worldwide economic downturn in the 1930s, which hit the team hard.
Into the Dark Times
When 1947 rolled around, Betis was sent to the Third Division, a low point in the team’s history and one which eventually rallied players and coaches to strive for improvement. What later came to be called the “Green March” was a time when Betis was in Third Division and its fans devoted themselves to filling the grandstands for every game. Even at road games, Betis fans would show up in huge numbers to cheer on the “fighting green” footballers. After seven years in the lower division, Betis was at last promoted to Second Division in 1954.
A Look Toward the Future!
Twenty-three years later, in 1977, Betis fought in an historic title game for the Copa del Rey. During that contest, one of team’s most hailed performances of all time, they defeated Athletic Bilbao for the title. From 1977’s heights, however, there followed financial hard times, allayed only by fans who raised a large sum and a financial savior, Manuel Ruiz de Lopera. The fresh infusion of cash prevented a bankruptcy filing and put Betis back in business. In 2005, the team won another Copa del Rey and by 2011 were back in La Liga.