Snooker’s most prestigious invitation tournament, The Masters, will be sponsored by Dafabet for the first time this season.
The Dafabet Masters runs from January 12 to 19 at Alexandra Palace in London and features the world’s leading 16 players, including defending champion Mark Selby, World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, world number one Neil Robertson, Chinese ace Ding Junhui, Judd Trump, John Higgins and many more.
The players will be chasing a top prize of £200,000 in the BBC-televised tournament, which will also be broadcast live in 68 countries with highlights coverage in seven others, reaching millions of viewers around the world.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to bring Dafabet on board as title sponsor for what is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar. The Masters has such a special feel to it because it’s an elite field and the tournament has a rich history going back to 1975.
“Dafabet sponsored the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals last season so they are aware of the massive global audience they can reach out to through snooker. The Masters will provide tremendous worldwide exposure for their brand.
“I’m looking forward to experiencing the incredible atmosphere at Alexandra Palace and working alongside the Dafabet team at this outstanding event.”
Dafabet Managing Director of online betting and gaming, Dimitris Karatzas, said: “We’re very proud to be title sponsor of such a recognised and traditional event of the sporting year. We are all looking forward to what is bound to be a tournament of the highest quality that will be viewed worldwide, such is the following of Snooker.”
John Cruces, Head of sports marketing and sponsorships at Dafabet, added: “2014 is going to be a huge year for sport, sponsoring the Masters is a great way for us to kick the year off. It’s a genuine pleasure to be working with the World Snooker team again.”
Tickets for the Dafabet Masters are still on sale, though many sessions are selling out fast. They start at just £10, amazing value for money, and there are also some superb VIP and corporate hospitality packages available. To book call 0871 620 7052 (calls cost 10p per minute, plus network extras) or visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets
Here’s the match schedule for the first round:
Sunday January 12
1pm Mark Selby v Mark Davis
7pm Stuart Bingham v John Higgins
Monday January 13
1pm Judd Trump v Marco Fu
7pm Stephen Maguire v Joe Perry
Tuesday January 14
1pm Ding Junhui v Shaun Murphy
7pm Ronnie O’Sullivan v Robert Milkins
Wednesday January 15
1pm Neil Robertson v Mark Allen
7pm Barry Hawkins v Ricky Walden