Betfred have become the exclusive sponsor of the Scottish League Cup from the beginning of next season, having agreed a three-year deal with the SPFL.

The relaunch of ‘The Betfred Cup’ will see a group stage take place in July and a new TV deal which will see 13 matches shown live on BT Sport.

Taking effect from July 2016, the new format will see eight groups of five teams play each other once each in a round-robin format across five July dates (16th, 20th, 23th, 27th & 30th). This new 80-game group stage will involve all 38 teams not involved in UEFA qualifiers plus winners of this season’s Highland League and Lowland League.

The group stage uses the traditional three points for a win and one point for a draw model however in another innovation all drawn matches will go straight to a penalty shoot-out whereby the winner of the penalty shoot-out will be awarded a bonus point.

The eight group winners and four best runners-up progress to the second round, when they are joined by the four UEFA qualifying clubs and the competition reverts to traditional knockout format.

Betfred chief executive, John Haddock, said: “We are very pleased to become sponsors of the Scottish League Cup at the inception of its new and exciting format. The SPFL have shown us great enthusiasm and we look forward to a continued and successful relationship.”