Online bookmaker Ladbrokes announced today it has agreed a two-year deal as title sponsor to the Scottish Professional Football League from season starting 2015-16.
The deal, thought to be worth over £4 million, will become the biggest of its kind in Scottish football and includes rights across all four leagues and 42 clubs. As part of the deal, Scotland’s football leagues will be known as the Ladbrokes Premiership, Ladbrokes Championship, Ladbrokes League 1 and Ladbrokes league 2 from August 2015.
Ladbrokes partnership with the SPFL is the latest in a number of high-profile sports sponsorships which include the Rugby Challenge Cup, the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival and the St Leger Festival at Doncaster.
Ladbrokes is one of the biggest operators in the betting and gaming industry with online, mobile and telephone betting services and a retail operation consisting of over 2700 shops in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Spain.
Jim Mullen, who became CEO of Ladbrokes in March, welcomed the new partnership by saying: “We love football so we are delighted to be working with the SPFL on one of the best opportunities in British sport.
“Our customers support clubs at every level of Scottish football from the professional leagues that we sponsor to the local Sunday League stalwarts. The Scottish game deserves a committed supporter and our financial backing will help to ensure every level of the game benefits from Ladbrokes’ involvement.”
Ladbrokes is the first main sponsor of the Scottish Professional Football League which was formed in 2013 following the merger of the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Ladbrokes to the SPFL’s growing family of key sponsors and partners and look forward to working with them from season 2015/16 at this truly exciting time for Scottish football.
“As an established and respected leading brand in its very competitive marketplace, Ladbrokes is a perfect partner for the SPFL and we have a shared vision of a positive future for professional league football in Scotland. Ladbrokes’ backing of Scottish football is hugely valued and appreciated and I say that not only on behalf of the SPFL but also for all 42 member clubs.”