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Super League to be sponsored by Betfred for next three years

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08:  Sean O'Loughlin and Matty Smith of Wigan lift the winners trophy after their sides 12-6 victory during the First Utility
Image: Wigan Warriors became the last Super League champions under the First Utility banner last weekend

Super League has new title sponsors after announcing a three-year deal with Betfred.

The betting company takes over from First Utility, whose three-year contract ended after last Saturday's Grand Final at Old Trafford.

The announcement marks a complete U-turn by the governing body, coming five years after Super League clubs voted narrowly to reject an offer from Betfair thought to be worth £750,000 a year.

Now betting companies will have their names attached to both major competitions, with Ladbrokes sponsoring the Challenge Cup as well as the 2016 Four Nations Series.

The deal with Betfred, who also sponsor the World Snooker Championship, is thought to be worth between £850,000 and £900,000 a year, compared to around £750,000 a year from First Utility.

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Super League chief executive Nigel Wood said: "Betfred is a well-recognised household name and I am delighted to welcome them to the sport as the new title sponsors of the Betfred Super League.

"I have met with owner Fred Done, who is passionate about rugby league and we look forward to working closely with him, everyone at Betfred and our member clubs to continue to increase the visibility of our sport over the next three years.

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"Finally we would also like to pass on our sincere thanks to First Utility for their support of rugby league for the previous three years."

Betfred, which opened its first betting shop in Salford in 1967, are the seventh different title sponsor of Super League since its formation in 1996 under the backing of Stones Bitter.

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