Pic: Christopher Dean / Scantech Media Ltd

Betfred has extended its contract as title sponsor of the PDC’s prestigious World Matchplay to the end of 2022.

In a boost confirmed on the eve of the 2020 Betfred World Matchplay commencing in Milton Keynes, the leading bookmaker has continued its commitment to the PDC’s second-longest running event for a further 12 months.

Betfred initially became title sponsor of the World Matchplay in 2019, when Rob Cross took glory to claim the £150,000 title in front of record crowds for the event at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Whilst this year’s tournament is set to be held behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena from July 18-26, the World Matchplay is planned to return to the Winter Gardens from July 17-25 2021 with continued backing from Betfred.

Betfred is also the title sponsor of the World Snooker Championship, rugby league’s Super League and the British Masters golf.

Betfred boss Fred Done said: “I’m delighted to be extending our sponsorship of the Betfred World Matchplay and would also like to thank the PDC and Sky Sports for their outstanding efforts in getting this year’s tournament on despite the obvious challenges.”

Fans will be able to win tickets to the 2021 Betfred World Matchplay by sharing pictures of themselves enjoying this year’s tournament to the @Betfred social media channels – and are being encouraged to wear fancy dress as they cheer on their favourite stars over the next nine days.

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The support of our partners and sponsors during these unprecedented times is more valued than ever, and it’s fantastic that Betfred has extended its association with the World Matchplay.

“This year’s tournament promises to be a fantastic nine days of darts despite the unique surroundings behind closed doors in Milton Keynes, but this announcement further whets the appetite for the return to its spiritual home in Blackpool in 2021.”

Betfred will be raising funds for The Stroke Association through their charity activity over the next week in Milton Keynes, including a £50 per 180 donation, the offer of a further £10,000 if last year’s total of 330 is matched or beaten and a Nine-Dart Charity Challenge involving players earning a donation of a £1 per point scored.

World number one Michael van Gerwen is Betfred’s 13/8 pre-tournament favourite to win the 2020 World Matchplay, with the Dutchman having previously won the title twice.
World Champion Peter Wright is the 6/1 second favourite, with Gerwyn Price 13/2, Nathan Aspinall 10/1 and 2018 winner Gary Anderson a 14/1 chance, while reigning champion Rob Cross and 2019 runner-up Michael Smith are both 20/1 to take victory.