World Snooker is a delighted to announce that the sport’s biggest tournament, the World Championship, will be sponsored by Dafabet for the first time this season.
The Dafabet World Championship will run from April 19 to May 5 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The top 16 seeds plus 16 qualifiers will be competing for one of the most famous trophies in sport, as well as a record top prize of £300,000.
The 17-day tournament will be televised in over 70 countries worldwide to a global audience of over 300 million.
Ronnie O’Sullivan will be defending the title he won for a fifth time last year, with the likes world number one Neil Robertson, Chinese ace Ding Junhui, Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy among the other leading contenders for the prestigious crown.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are thrilled to bring Dafabet on board for our Blue Riband tournament. This is truly one of the great events on the sporting calendar and there are hundreds of millions of fans across the planet eagerly awaiting the moment when the defending champion steps out on the first morning.
“The atmosphere at the Crucible is unique in sport and those lucky enough to be inside the arena are going to experience something truly spectacular.
“Dafabet sponsored the Masters this season so they are well aware of snooker’s massive global appeal and the tremendous exposure they will receive during an event which receives hundreds of hours of television coverage. We look forward to working with their team.
“We have increased the prize money this year to £1,214,000 with the winner to receive the biggest cheque in the history of snooker. With so many top players in form and in contention, it’s going to be an incredible 17 days.”
Dafabet Managing Director of Online Betting and Gaming, Dimitris Karatzas, said: “We are very proud to be title sponsor of Snooker’s Flagship event as the World Championship is rightfully recognised globally. We look forward to the excellent exposure we will receive over the duration of the tournament and of course seeing Dafabet at the iconic Crucible. Roll on April 19th and the start of the tournament, where no doubt further history will be made.”
John Cruces, Head of Sports Marketing and Sponsorships at Dafabet, added: “The World Snooker Championship at the Crucible is one of most recognised events in the annual sporting calendar, so to offer our continued support is a privilege. We’ve been very proactive in pushing our brand in 2014, the exposure we are sure to receive from such a worldwide recognised tournament will help enhance this.
“We would like to thank World Snooker and wish all the players in the 2014 Dafabet World Championship the very best of luck.”
Tickets for many sessions have already sold out but for the latest availability call 0844 65 65 147 or visit Sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
The qualifying rounds at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield run from April 8 to 16. For tickets call 0114 2233777 or visit www.sivtickets.com
The Dafabet World Championship is supported by Sheffield City Council
Whilst it is great for snooker to be able to confirm these massive sponsorship deals for major events, I personally continue to be slightly concerned over companies that obviously encourage gambling actually sponsoring sporting events, especially those that have been associated with illegal betting in the past.
I don’t think you are alone there, Peter. But at the end of the day sport is still a business and the big wigs will get the most money wherever it is available.