Ladbrokes ‘aware of responsibilities’ after Challenge Cup deal - RFL

Ladbrokes ‘aware of responsibilities’ after Challenge Cup deal - RFL

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Rugby Football League, the governing body of rugby league in England, has told TotallyGaming.com that Ladbrokes is “acutely aware” of its social responsibilities after the UK bookmaker struck a deal to be the next title sponsor of the Challenge Cup tournament.

Rugby league’s leading stakeholders in England have been notoriously reluctant to forge partnerships with the gambling industry after a number of its top stars were caught up in a betting scandal a decade ago.

Betfair missed out on becoming title sponsor of the English Super League club competition in 2012 after rival online operator 888 saw an earlier potential deal fall through after a proposed partnership was rejected by clubs.

However, the new deal for Ladbrokes to become the title sponsor of the Challenge Cup, one of the oldest team competitions in world sport, has represented something of a change of heart, and Ladbrokes will support a responsible gambling programme for players and fans through the arrangement.

“The RFL has for many years worked closely with its member clubs to deliver welfare programmes to players that include education on gambling in sport and our partnership with Ladbrokes will see those programmes enhanced,” RFL commercial director Chris Rawlings told TotallyGaming.com.

“Like the RFL, Ladbrokes are acutely aware of their social responsibilities.”

The bookmaker has struck a three-year deal, from 2015 until 2017, and the tournament will be known as the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

Rawlings said that the RFL received “considerable interest” from the commercial sector for the title sponsorship rights.

“From the outset, it became clear that Ladbrokes wanted to be associated with the Challenge Cup for all the right reasons,” he added.

“The sport is about to enter an exciting new era with a competition structure that will mean every minute of every match matters, and Ladbrokes grasped that fully.

“Challenge Cup ties are watched by hundreds of thousands of fans each year, whilst millions of television viewers tune in to watch the world’s most athletic rugby players performing on the biggest stage, so the advantages to Ladbrokes are clear. 

“As well as investing a considerable sum to secure the title rights, Ladbrokes are committed to promoting both the competition and the sport widely across all their own media channels and we are looking forward to working with them to achieve our mutual aims.”

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