It’s a timely boost for the World Snooker Tour after a turbulent year.
Three major tournaments will be sponsored by Cazoo to make up a new series on the snooker calendar, it has been announced on Tuesday.
The Cazoo Series will comprise the World Grand Prix, Players Championship, and the Tour Championship events.
In a multi-year deal, the new partnership eases pressure on the sport following a difficult twelve months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
With events forced to be staged behind closed doors, revenue from ticket sales has been wiped out and maintaining ties with current sponsors hasn’t been easy.
Building a new relationship with a firm that isn’t linked to betting is also a welcome development, especially given recent headlines in the UK surrounding plans to ban certain aspects of gambling sponsorship within sport.
The Cazoo Series replaces the Coral Series that took place in 2019 and 2020, and which saw players compete for places in the trio of lucrative tournaments via the one-year snooker rankings list.
This season’s World Grand Prix has already finished, with Judd Trump capturing the trophy in December, so the first tournament to be sponsored by Cazoo will be the Players Championship later this month.
The top 16 ranked competitors from prize money earned during the 2020/21 campaign will participate, before an eight-man field assembles for the Cazoo Tour Championship in March.
WST Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are excited to welcome Cazoo to the snooker family and are looking forward to introducing our significant global audience to the Cazoo brand.”
“The events in the Cazoo Series are some of the highest quality tournaments on the calendar because they bring together the cream of the crop and only the players in form earn a place in the draw.”
Cazoo CEO Alex Chesterman said: “We are delighted to partner with Barry and his team at the World Snooker Tour to launch the Cazoo Series.”
“This partnership will help to further grow our audience as we continue to build Cazoo into a household brand and we look forward to engaging with and delivering the best car buying experience to snooker fans across the UK.”