The Scottish FA and William Hill have announced that their partnership will not be renewed at the end of the current agreement after almost a decade of working together.
William Hill has been title sponsor of the Scottish Cup and Official Betting Partner of the Scotland National Team since 2011, and the national bookmaker became sponsor of the South Stand at Hampden Park in 2015. However, the current agreement runs up to 30 June and will not continue beyond that.
Liam McKee, William Hill Head of Media and Sponsorship, commented: “The Scottish Cup is a unique and vibrant competition and it has been honour to be associated with it. We would like to thank the Scottish FA for being a great partner and wish Ian Maxwell and his team the best of luck in the future.”
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive, said: “The Scottish FA would like to thank William Hill for their investment in Scottish football over the past decade. Their sponsorship has enabled development in many aspects of the game, through the Scottish Cup, men’s national team and Hampden Park, but has also supported key initiatives such as the Hampden Sports Clinic’s mental health programme.”
While it may look like this is a case of the latest football body to announce an end a high profile sponsorship deal with the gambling industry this week, with Everton and Kenyan bookmaker Sportpesa announcing that they were to end the shirt sponsorship deal two years early. However, a source close to the deal suggested that the announcement has been triggered by the bookmaker planning to dial down its association with football sponsorship going forward.
Given much of high profile sponsorship, particularly in the English Premier League, is by brands aiming at an international audience rather than a domestic one and against a backdrop of increased media criticism of football for promoting gambling brands, the source said that William Hill is taking a sensible approach in stopping football sponsorship in the current environment.