It's easy to say 'there should be more sponsors' but not quite so easy to attain any, particularly in the current economic climate.

Last weekend's Independent on Sunday points out how all sports are struggling at the moment.

Snooker has enjoyed some recent success. Betfred.com has signed a four year deal to sponsor the World Championship while Sportingbet.com will back the World Series for the next three years.

But the golden days of snooker sponsorship are over. In the 1980s, companies were queueing up to have their brands associated with the sport. Not any more.

Snooker is no longer considered fashionable and has to fight its corner against sports where major firms believe they will get a better return: football, rugby union, tennis, golf, cricket.

Darts, perhaps snooker's closest competitor, has also been successful in attracting sponsorship because it has reinvented its image without changing the sport.

This is presumably why World Snooker has engaged Tim Darby, formerly Barry Hearn's right hand man at the PDC, to look at ways of changing the perception of snooker.

I wish him well. The sport can't afford to stand still and the complacent attitude that nothing can ever change has to end.

As we saw at the World Championship, professional snooker is still a first rate product and the game includes a fascinating cast of characters, including those younger players emerging into the limelight.

The challenge now is to harness the interest that is there and persuade potential sponsors that snooker is a sport worth supporting.

Not an easy task but not an impossible one either.


Anonymous said...

"Betfair.com has signed a four year deal to sponsor the World Championship while Sportingbet.com will back the World Series for the next three years."

I don't think Fred Done will be very pleased!

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Dave, Betfair have sod-all to do with the sport.

If someone such as yourself can't get it right, what chance do other less informed journo's have?

Anonymous said...


Darts is also a cheaper alternative for sponsors..

snooker was relient on embassy and tabacco sponsorship so much and they put so much money in to the sport that now they expect other companies to foot the same bill where they can sponsor darts for less.

Dave H said...

Freudian slip - now changed

Sorry Fred!

Anonymous said...

"Right" said Fred

Chris said...

With Betfred's success in sponsoring the World Championship, it may just encourage sponsors to sponsor other events.

Anonymous said...

i think it will take a bit longer to determine how succesful their sponsorship has been

david06 said...

Interesting post,

If the sponsors are ready to invest in this sports many young players will be rectified.