Maplin Electronics are to sponsor the UK Championship for the next three years in a deal announced today.

The agreement means that the big four BBC televised events - the World and UK Championships, Grand Prix and Masters - are all sponsored.

"We are very pleased to welcome Maplin Electronics on board. This emphasises our determination to attract diverse business sectors to our sport," said Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of World Snooker.

"We have now achieved our stated aim of attracting a headline sponsor for each of our four major BBC events."

The new deal, brokered by IMG, World Snooker's sponsorship agents, can only be good news for the sport.

The World Championship is sponsored by 888.com in a deal than runs out in 2010 while the Masters will be backed by Saga Insurance until 2009.

The Grand Prix is being sponsored by Royal London Watches until 2008.

“This is a unique opportunity to increase our brand profile to a wider audience using one of sport’s most successful and established competitions," said David O'Reilly, marketing director of Maplin.

The UK Championship gets underway at the Barbican Centre in York next Monday with Ding Jun Hui defending the title he won with a 10-6 defeat of six-times champion Steve Davis 12 months ago.

A total of 47 players will be competing for prize money of more than £552,000.


Anonymous said...


This is excellent news. I've not been the biggest fan of the WPBSA's drive to attract new sponsors, but with the four BBC contracts safely sponsored, now is the time, as you said previously with China - possibly - getting an additional tournament, to try and get past tournaments back that have sliped there grasp.

Couple of questions:

Do you know the total amount of money the BBC have put it - ie resources etc - to the deals they have done for all four tournaments?

How much is Maplin's three year deal worth each season to the UK?

How much is the winners cheque for the UK this year - compared to previous years/sponsors?

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...

The exact financial details of the BBC contract haven't been revealed.

Neither have the details of the Maplin deal.

The winner will receive £80,000. This is the same as Doug Mountjoy received for winning it in 1988, however John Parrott only got £35,000 in 1991 and the winners cheque has varied ever since.

Anonymous said...


It's always been around £80,000 though, hasn't it? What I find remarkable in this day-and-age, is that winners cheques in snooker tournaments fluctuate up-and-down. Considering this is the second biggest ranking tournament, I thought it would be higher than this.

On another note, well done to O'Sulivan who won his third PSL tournament on the spin...and it was never in doubt. I do think if Dott had come through the White encounter - which I thought he should've done - he could've given the Rocket a game, but it seemed the London pair were more intent on making hay of odds of 40-1 for four or more centuries in the final.

It was great to see Paul Hunter's sister make a speech and present the trophy.

What do you think of Willie Thorne's theory of giving the PSL a tournament on the calendar? I don't quite know what he meant by this - presumably an invitation tournament, as I doubt players would be happy if it was turned into a ranking tournament. But the WPBSA don't have that much/nothing to do with Matchroom sport/PSL, so it would seem unlikely.

Meanwhile, I see that although White didn't have too bad a weekend, John Parrott is fast catching him up. He got thrashed 9-1 today at the UK. Surely, he is having serious reservations about hanging up the cue this season?

Thanks, Joe