SFA goes looking for a new sponsor after William Hill has broken the ties and left two of Scotland’s three competitions without backers
- The SFA are looking for a new sponsor after bookmaker William Hill broke ties
- The gambling company has confirmed that it will end its nine-year association in the summer
- William Hill was the main sponsor of two Scottish football matches
- The SFA is now investigating other sponsoring options for next season
The SFA intensified their search for a new Scottish Cup sponsor after William Hill confirmed that it was ending a nine-year association.
The bookmaker’s cooperation with Scotland’s national team and sponsorship of the South Stand in Hampden also ends in June.
After a first link for the Scottish Cup in 2011, William Hill signed an improved and extended five-year agreement in 2015.
Bookmakers William Hill ended its nine-year partnership with the Scottish FA on Friday
However, they have now decided to take a step back from football sponsorship deals. There is a feeling that ending the band at this point suits both William Hill and the SFA, given the increased focus placed on the ties of the sport with gambling. The administrative body is now investigating other options.
Earlier this season, rival gambling company Ladbrokes announced that they would end a five-year stint as SPFL title sponsor after quoting the desire to reduce their visibility in football.
That means that two of the three major competitions in Scotland are now looking for new partnerships to fill in financial gaps before the next season.
The gambling giants are main sponsors of two domestic Scottish football matches
Another bookmaker, BetFred, is currently sponsoring the League Cup. That agreement must be extended after this period.
A source close to William Hill said: “William Hill believes that football is too busy with gambling brands, many of which are not even on the UK market, and this has raised public concern about the level of association.
“As a result, they are not renewing their Scottish Cup partnership and will not enter into any new football sponsorship in the UK.”
Although there was unrest over the size of the links, gambling companies have an important source of income for the Scottish game.
The Scottish FA is now investigating alternative options for new key partners
Finding a replacement is now a top priority for SFA CEO Ian Maxwell and his commercial team in Hampden.
“The Scottish FA wants to thank William Hill for their investment in Scottish football over the past decade,” said Maxwell.
“Their sponsorship has enabled development in many aspects of the game, through the Scottish Cup, the men’s national team and Hampden Park, but has also supported important initiatives such as the Hampden Sports Clinic’s mental health program.”
Liam McKee, William Hill, head of media and sponsorship, added: “The Scottish Cup is a unique and vibrant competition and it was an honor to be connected to it.
“We want to thank the Scottish FA for being a great partner and wish Ian Maxwell and his team every success in the future.”