Online bookmaker William Hill has replaced Ladbrokes as sponsor of the PDC World Darts Championship in a new two-year deal beginning in December 2014.
William Hill are believed to have paid a seven-figure sum to take over from their online gambling rivals as title sponsor of the event which will be renamed the William Hill World Darts Championship.
Commenting on the announcement, PDC chairman Barry Hearn said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome William Hill as the new title sponsor for the World Darts Championship.
Adding: “Since first being staged in 1993-94, this tournament has grown into the biggest in darts, not only in terms of prize money and stature – with over £1 million paid out in the sport’s richest event – but also with the fantastic crowds who flock to Alexandra Palace every year.”
The tournament is will be broadcast live from Alexandra Palace in London throughout December 2014 with the final played on January 1st 2015. The world’s top 72 players will compete for the crown currently held by Michael Van Gerwin who thrilled the Ally Pally crowd when defeating Peter Wright 7-4 in the final on New Year’s Day.
The Dutch star is favourite for the upcoming tournament with the new sponsor William Hill betting 13/8 Van Gerwin to retain his world title.
The William Hill World Darts Championship will become the second major darts tournament the company have sponsored following their sponsorship of the Grand Slam Of Darts from 2011 to 2013.