12bet.com to Sponsor Inaugural World Open

During 2009 the Grand Prix was sadly unsponsored but the WPBSA have today confirmed that its replacement, the World Open, will be sponsored by betting firm 12bet.com when it begins next Saturday…

Following in the footsteps of events such as the Masters and the Welsh Open, both also previously without a backer in the days prior to Barry Hearn getting involved with the sport again, the World Open will now also be sponsored, an important boost particularly given the current economic climate.

Hearn is quoted over at World Snooker.com as saying the following:

“This is a fantastic piece of news for our sport at just the right time. We’ve made giant strides forward in the commercial success of snooker in recent months and this keeps the momentum going. The new World Open, with a new format, new venue, and new arena, is one of the cornerstones of the new era so we’re thrilled to have a title sponsor on board.

“With over 50 hours coverage on BBC and a combined global audience reaching over 100 million, the tournament will give vast exposure to 12bet.com’s brand so it’s easy to see their motivation behind getting involved with snooker. We hope they enjoy what should be a great tournament and look forward to building a strong relationship with them.”

Look out for my tournament preview next week, although it will be difficult without a fixed drawsheet due to the random nature of the format!