Online betting operator Sky Bet has made an offer to continue its sponsorship of the English Football League for two more seasons.
The Sky Bet brand was title sponsor of the League’s three divisions—the Championship, League 1 and League 2—in the 2013-14 season, however, with the headline deal due to expire at the end of the next campaign, Sky Bet has been keen to trigger options to extend the contract.
Sky Bet has also reached an agreement which enables the Football League to speak to other parties but not with other betting and gaming companies.
The Football League and Sky Bet have also agreed to terms on a two-year betting partnership for seasons 2016/17 and 2017/18 should Sky Bet ultimately not continue as the League’s title sponsor beyond next season, focusing mainly on the Football League’s digital inventory and a Play-Offs rights package.
“After a thrilling 2014-15 season including three exciting Play-Off finals at the weekend, we are looking forward to our third year as title sponsor and our ongoing partnership with the Football League over the next three seasons,” said Sky Bet marketing director Rob Painter.
News of the contract talks came after American-owned credit card company Capital One decided not to renew its sponsorship after the end of 2015/16 season to concentrate on television advertising.
“It has been a privilege and pleasure to be the League Cup title sponsor. This special relationship has played a significant part in our UK brand communications over the last three years, and will continue to do so in the coming season. We have enjoyed a positive relationship with The Football League, the teams involved in the competition and the millions of dedicated fans,” said Chris Newkirk, CEO at Capital One UK. “As we move on to our final season, we remain committed to The Football League and next season’s Capital One Cup and are extremely proud to have sponsored this incredible competition.”
Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said that the league will now begin talks with potential new partners.