Ladbrokes are new Challenge Cup sponsors

Date published: Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The RFL has agreed a three-year partnership with Ladbrokes to become title sponsors of the Challenge Cup.

The Ladbrokes Challenge Cup will be contested in the coming season by 78 clubs from the First Utility Super League, Kingstone Press Championship, League 1 and the community game.

The new partnership has been announced ahead of the first round draw on Thursday at Wembley Stadium, which will host the 2015 final on Saturday, August 29.

Ladbrokes will capitalise on the competition’s growing fan base which is spearheaded through the sport’s  broadcast partners, the BBC and Sky Sports, who will both televise pre-match build-up, live games, highlights, and post-result analysis.

Ladbrokes will benefit from over 1,000 hours of dedicated global TV cover including over 70 hours of UK coverage.

The tournament starts on the weekend of January 31-February 1 and climaxes with a final at Wembley Stadium that was last year watched by over 1.6 million people in the UK live on BBC1 and millions more around the world.

It is estimated that 2013’s competition (the last year for which figures are available) reached over 5.4m people with a cumulative BBC live audience of over 7.2m.

RFL Commercial Director Chris Rawlings said; ““The Challenge Cup is rich in heritage and tradition and it is significant and fitting that the first Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final will be played on Founders Day.”

As part of their association, Ladbrokes will have headline branding at all Ladbrokes Challenge Cup ties, introduce a Responsible Gambling programme for Rugby League players, fans and staff and also introduce the tournament’s inaugural Ladbrokes Player of the Round Award.

Ladbrokes will also work closely with players and personalities on promotional appearances and activities and promote the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup heavily across all their own media channels.

Rawlings added: “Ladbrokes is one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands which has over 800,000 customers and this partnership will bring great benefits to both parties.

“Ladbrokes is the latest major brand to recognise the advantages of associating their brand with Rugby League and it gives me great pleasure to welcome them to the sport’s current existing and impressive commercial portfolio.

“We look forward to working closely with everyone at Ladbrokes and our member clubs to promote this exciting partnership.”

Richard Glynn, CEO of Ladbrokes said: “We’re thrilled to begin our sponsorship of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup in a historic and momentous year for the sport. Rugby League is without doubt one of the world’s most exciting sports, brimming with energy and adrenaline both on and off the pitch.

“The fans are beyond passionate, and that passion is infectious and spreading quickly across the globe. This exclusive deal will bring Ladbrokes unprecedented access to the action, which all of our customers have become accustomed to as part of The Ladbrokes Life.”

He added: “2015 already promises to be bigger and better, and this is a fantastic opportunity for Ladbrokes to engage with Rugby League stakeholders on both an elite and grassroots level to continue the rapid growth of the sport. We’re looking forward to the season ahead packed full of excitement, thrills and spills, and of course, world class rugby.” 

 The return of promotion and relegation in a format that is financially sustainable should ensure fans of the sport are entertained from February to October, with an exciting season punctuated by a series of world-class events commencing with the World Club Series in February and finishing at Old Trafford with the First Utility Super League Grand Final.