William Hill Online, the iGaming arm of the Gibraltar-licensed operator, has replaced rival operator Ladbrokes as sponsor of the World Darts Championship, organised by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).

The operator has agreed a two-year deal with the PDC, paying a seven-figure sum that sees it become the title sponsor of the event, which has been renamed the William Hill World Darts Tournament.

It becomes William Hill’s second major darts sponsorship deal, with the company having sponsored the Grand Slam of Darts tournament from 2011 to 2013.

William Hill chief marketing officer Kristof Fahy described the event as a great addition to the company’s brand sponsorship portfolio.

“It's a great fit; the UK's biggest bookmaker and the biggest event in Darts,” he added.

William Hill Online managing director Andy Lee added that he was delighted to have agreed the partnership, explaining that he believed such deals would help maintain the online business’ strong growth.

The tournament, held at London’s Alexandra Palace, features 72 players and is broadcast live on Sky Sports. It will be held throughout December 2014, culminating in the coronation of the darts world champion on January 1st 2015.

Last year’s tournament was won by Michael van Gerwen, who is currently favourite for the upcoming tournament.

PDC chairman Barry Hearn commented: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome William Hill as the new title sponsor for the World Darts Championship.

"Since first being staged in 1993-94, this tournament has grown into the biggest in darts, not only in terms of prize money and stature – with over £1 million paid out in the sport's richest event - but also with the fantastic crowds who flock to Alexandra Palace every year,” Hearne added.

William Hill has replaced Ladbrokes as the event’s sponsor, with its rival having established a long-running relationship with the PDC, first partnering with them in the early 2000s.

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