William Hill becomes title sponsor of the PDC world darts championship
William Hill are delighted to announce they have signed an initial two-year deal with the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) to sponsor the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace in London.
The seven-figure deal will see Britain’s biggest bookmaker become the title sponsor of the event - which will now be known as the ‘William Hill World Darts Championship.’
The 72-player tournament, staged by the PDC and broadcast live on Sky Sports, will be held throughout December and January, with play spanning the Christmas and New Year period before the first world champion of 2015 is crowned.
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen – who defeated Peter Wright on New Year’s Day to lift the Sid Waddell Trophy - is the early favourite with the sponsors to retain his crown, closely followed by 16-time World Champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.
The William Hill World Darts Championship will be the online firm’s second darts sponsorship, following on from their successful three-year sponsorship of the Grand Slam of Darts at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall from 2011-2013.
Kristof Fahy, Chief Marketing Officer at William Hill, said, “The World Darts Championship is a great addition to our brand sponsorship portfolio.
“It’s a great fit. The UK’s biggest bookmaker and the biggest event in Darts.”
Andy Lee, Managing Director of William Hill Online said, “We are delighted to announce our sponsorship of the William Hill World Darts Championship.
“Our online business has shown strong growth in recent years and we believe sponsorships like this will help us reach new audiences and continue to help us grow."
PDC Chairman Barry Hearn said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome William Hill as the new title sponsor for the World Darts Championship.
“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.
“With over 50,000 fans attending live and hundreds of millions more watching on Sky Sports and around the world, the William Hill World Darts Championship has an amazing global reach.”
Tickets for the 2015 William Hill World Darts Championship are expected to go on sale in June, with information to be posted at www.pdc.tv/tickets once finalised.
Hearn added: “We welcomed a record crowd to Alexandra Palace during the 2014 World Championship and have been amazed by the interest we’ve already had from darts-hungry fans who want to secure their seat at this year’s William Hill World Darts Championship.
“With qualifying events beginning to take shape worldwide, the focus of players is also shifting towards securing their places in what promises to be a special event.”
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About William Hill
William Hill, The Home of Betting, is one of the World's leading betting and gaming companies, employing more than 17,000 people. Founded in 1934, it is now the UK's largest bookmaker with around 2,430 licensed betting offices that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, gaming on machines and numbers-based products including lotteries. The Group’s Online business (www.williamhill.com) is one of world’s leading online betting and gaming businesses, providing customers with the opportunity to access William Hill's products online, through their smartphone or tablet, by telephone and by text services. William Hill US was established in June 2012 and provides land-based and mobile sports betting services in Nevada, and is the exclusive risk manager for the State of Delaware’s sports lottery. William Hill Australia is one of the largest online betting businesses in Australia after the Group acquired the Sportingbet Australia business in March 2013 and tomwaterhouse.com in August 2013, two of the leading online corporate bookmakers in Australia, offering sports betting products online, by telephone and via mobile devices. William Hill PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and became part of the FTSE100 in May 2013. The Group generates revenues of c£1.5bn a year.
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About The PDC
Formed in 1992, the Professional Darts Corporation is the leading professional body in darts, staging over 100 tournaments worldwide each year with £7 million prize money available on its global circuit.
The first PDC World Darts Championship was staged in 1993-94 at the Circus Tavern in Essex, and moved to London’s iconic Alexandra Palace in 2008, with the venue’s West Hall able to welcome 2,500 fans per session to watch darts on a 120ft wide stage.
The PDC World Darts Championship is broadcast live on Sky Sports, with broadcasts in both HD and 3D, with live worldwide coverage in Holland, Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and across the Middle East.
In addition, the PDC stage a series of major televised tournaments throughout the year, including Premier League Darts – which features ten players competing in a league from February-May in the UK & Ireland’s biggest arenas – and the World Series of Darts, which features events in Dubai and Sydney.
The PDC’s other major televised events are the Grand Slam of Darts, World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, UK Open, European Championship, Players Championship Finals, The Masters and the PDC World Cup of Darts.
Away from the big stage, the PDC ProTour is now accompanied by the Challenge Tour and Youth Tour to give a pathway for players to break through, while the PDC also supports international circuits in North America, Scandinavia and Australia.