PokerStars To Sponsor Masters Snooker Tournament

An 11th hour deal was struck that will now see PokerStars sponsoring the Wembley Masters snooker tournament, due to begin this Sunday in the UK. World Snooker, the governing body for the sport, must have been close to despair after they were unable to  secure new funding for one of their top tournaments, following the withdrawal of Saga Insurance.
The one-year deal means World Snooker have now bought themselves some breathing room for now, with Chairman of World Snooker, Barry Hearn commenting: “There’s been a lot of gloom around snooker so it’s a relief to have a sponsorship deal done. The Masters didn’t have a sponsor on it, so thankfully someone has come in at the last minute.”
Snooker, which reached the height of its popularity as a sport in the 1980’s and 90’s, has since seen its following decline. Recently, promotional wizard Barry Hearn had been elected WPBSA chairman, in an effort to breathe fresh life into a sport which has steadily been marginalised to just six ranking tournaments a year. Hearn’s ability to secure a last minute sponsor for the upcoming Master’s speaks highly of the skill he brings to the negotiating table, and commenting on the choice of sponsors, he said:
“Pokerstars are a major company and the biggest online operator in the poker industry. It’s potentially a good partnership for World Snooker, and although it’s only a one-year deal, we’ve got a credible brand name on board.”
“It’s very difficult to do a three-year deal with the event starting on Sunday but hopefully they will share our enthusiasm and we can sit down to talk about a longer deal afterwards. I can’t go into details, but the deal is an expectable amount of money. I think the sponsorship is worth a lot more but it’s up to us to prove our worth to people on the back of the TV ratings for the event.”

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