Wherever their footballing allegiances lie, the half-time bet365 Ray Winstone video has become a firm part of the viewing experience for armchair supporters.

The beloved British actor plays a starring role in the latest ad for the online bookmaker, taking time out from filming to check out the latest live odds on his tablet computer.

Guiding Ray through the process is a digitised version of his own head, which seems particularly keen to extol the virtues of bet365’s latest available in-play markets.

It’s a truly bizarre sight, yet the advert has become a staple dish on the half-time menu of any major televised game.

But it isn’t the first football advert to become a hit with supporters.

Nike have delighted fans for more than a decade with their mammoth major-tournament epics, which are usually launched to coincide with the countdown to a World Cup or European Championship.

The latest offering features a plethora of world football stars, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Hernandez, battling with an army of supporters for supremacy on the football field.

And who could forget Pizza Hut’s take on Gareth Southgate’s penalty miss at Euro ‘96? The popular restaurant chain pulled no punches with its scathing yet light-hearted lampoon of the moment that defined the England defender’s career.

Wherever you look, it is clear that football’s role in promoting a wide range of products is becoming more and more prominent.

Former Portugal ace Luis Figo has been drafted in by Just For Men, Thierry Henry once graced our screens to promote the Renault Clio while Lionel Messi and a small group of his footballing friends from across Europe are the new spokespeople for Pepsi Max.

Football’s popularity is often measured by attendance and participation, but it’s ever increasing presence in the wider media is just as clear an indicator.

And its fair to say that the sport has never been so well represented.

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