By Mark Baber
May 11 – The Scottish Premier Football League (SPFL) has confirmed that Warrington-based bookmaking company Betfred has agreed a three-year deal to become the exclusive title sponsor of the Scottish League Cup which will now be known as The Betfred Cup.
The agreement which is reported to be worth around £1m over three seasons, will start in advance of the 2016/17 edition of the competition which begins this July and features a new format and up to 13 matches shown live on BT Sport.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “On behalf of the SPFL I’d like to offer a very warm welcome to everyone at Betfred as new title sponsors of The Betfred Cup and the latest major brand to support Scottish football. We’re absolutely thrilled to have them on board for what is another significant vote of confidence – and investment – in the game.
“The exciting new format for next season’s Betfred Cup has truly captured the imagination of supporters, clubs and media, as well as our broadcast partner BT Sport and now Betfred. By building on our strong points and proud heritage as well as daring to be a little bit different we have shown Scottish football’s enduring popularity and growing reputation for innovation.
“We know Betfred share in our ambitious vision and we are really looking forward to working with them to bring this proud and popular competition to life for the benefit of Scottish football supporters across the country.”
Betfred chief executive John Haddock commented: “We are very pleased to become sponsors of the Scottish League Cup at the inception of its new and exciting format. The SPFL have shown us great enthusiasm and we look forward to a continued and successful relationship.”
On behalf of BT Sport, Simon Green added, “BT Sport is looking forward to deepening its connection with Scottish football through our exclusively live coverage of the competition from mid-July. BT Sport is going to be the place to head to for Scottish football fans seeking live football this summer.”
The competition will be reverting to a group-stage format in the first round with eight sections of five teams including 38 clubs not involved in Champions League or Europa League qualifiers, plus the winners of the Highland League and Lowland League.
Betting companies have become a fertile sponsorship ground for Scottish football recently. Ladbrokes are already the title sponsor of the Scottish Premier League.
Last week Celtic announced record four-year deal with Dafabet which the club hailed as “the biggest ever shirt sponsorship deal in Scottish football history” and deepens yet further the strong links between the betting industry and Scottish football.
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