- Deal is for two years
- Tournament is one of the PGA Tour’s Race to Dubai series
- PGA Tour only just announced it would allow gambling sponsorships
UK gambling operator Betfred has signed a sponsorship deal with the British Masters golf tournament. The deal is for two years and is the seventh sports sponsorship by the company.
Moving into golf
The sponsorship is a first for Betfred in the world of golf. Its current other sponsorships include the Scottish League Cup soccer, the rugby Super League, Championship and League One, World Snooker Championships, and World Matchplay Darts. The company has also long sponsored a number of major British horse racing events.
The first Betfred British Masters takes place in Southport from May 9-12. The tournament is one of the PGA European Tour’s flagship Race to Dubai series. The PGA Tour announced at the end of February it was to embrace sports betting, and this is one of its first deals.
The Betfred British Masters will be hosted this year by Ryder Cup champion Tommy Fleetwood, who was born in Southport. He said: “It’s great to have Betfred on board, making it the Betfred British Masters. They have been involved in some great sporting events. So it’s come together nicely and we are very happy to have Betfred on board as title sponsor.”
Betfred will also be title sponsor of the British Masters in 2020. There is a possibility the deal may be extended beyond that.
Keeping it local
Betfred was founded in 1967 in Salford, near Manchester, by Fred Done and his brother Peter. It is now one of the largest bookmakers in the UK with more than 1,300 betting shops.
The British Masters location in Southport is just 42 miles away from Salford. And the company is currently headquartered in Warrington, also in northwest England and just 30 miles away.
Fred Done said: “I’ve been looking at golf sponsorship for some time so when the British Masters, with Tommy Fleetwood hosting in the north-west [of England], was put to me it seemed the perfect opportunity to get involved. I am absolutely delighted to see the Betfred brand alongside such a high profile event in the sport of golf.”
The move is strategic for Betfred and driven by Done himself. Last year he said Betfred was going to drop its horse racing sponsorships and move into other areas of sport. The British Masters and Race to Dubai deals are the first of the revised portfolio.
PGA Tour integrity
In signing this deal, Betfred will be bound to the PGA Tour’s integrity program, with the golfing organization launched last year. The integrity program is designed to keep golf a “clean” sport.
Betfred will now have to work closely with the PGA European Tour’s integrity unit as sponsor of the British Masters. Betfred is a member of the European Sport Security Association, a non-profit organization that represents many of the world’s biggest regulated gambling operators. ESSA’s mandate is to protect the integrity of these companies. The organization’s members share intelligence on suspicious betting patterns, for example.