Just a month on from Gary Anderson’s second world darts title, the Betway Premier League is back, starting at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. We caught up with Alan Alger, PR for Betway, to discuss the start of the £700,000 ten-man tournament, played out over 4 months at 16 arenas across Europe.
SBC: Alan, Betway is sponsoring the Premier League Darts for the 3rd time in 2016. How excited are you about the start of the tournament?
AA: The Betway Premier League has gone from strength to strength over the years and is now firmly established as one of the marquee sporting events on calendar. We can’t wait for opening night in Leeds, when defending champion Gary Anderson will clash with arch-rival Adrian Lewis, among many other mouth-watering matches. It promises to be yet another year of fun and fantastic finishes, and we’re delighted to be the main sponsor again.
SBC: The Betway Premier League will break new ground in 2016 with the tournament’s first visit to the Netherlands at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam; how important is the development and continued expansion of the tournament for Betway as a sponsor?
AA: It’s a testament to the sport that the 16 nights of world-class darts will take 16 cities in five countries, including the newest stop on the tour, Rotterdam. The Netherlands has produced some of the finest – and most popular – darts players the world has ever seen and it’s going to be a cracking evening at the Ahoy Arena.
The decision to take the Betway Premier League to Rotterdam is a clear sign that the sport is growing which is fantastic news for players, fans and sponsors alike. I’m sure Rotterdam will be a success and wouldn’t be surprised to see other cities, and maybe countries, added to the tour schedule soon.
SBC: What have you learned from your sponsorship of the tournament over the last 2 years; is there anything specific that you will do differently this time around?
AA: Fans of the sport are a passionate bunch; that much should be clear to anyone who has seen the Betway Premier League darts live, on TV or in the news. One of the thrills of the sport is that you can really make a connection with the players; with cameras zoomed in tight on their faces, you can really live the highs and suffer the lows alongside the athletes.
At Betway we always strive to give fans the opportunity to go behind the scenes and get the inside story. We’ll be hosting exclusive player blogs and videos on our popular Betway Insider site, which we’ve found to be a great way for fans to get even closer to their favourite players.
SBC: Are there any betting markets that are exclusive or unique to Betway on Premier League nights?
AA: We have a new in-play function for offering darts prices which was extremely successful at the World Championships – with prices and live scores updating very near to real-time. We will have a number of special markets based on each round – including highest average of the night, lowest average of the night.
SBC: And finally, who are you tipping to win the Premier League? Can Gary Anderson go ahead and win the double-double for the World Championships and Premier League?
AA: The Premier League is such a competitive event. Our favourite is Michael van Gerwen at 11/8. He didn’t have the best of World Championships and will be out to put things right, especially when the tour rolls into Rotterdam.
Defending champion Gary Anderson is second favourite at 7/2, but has suggested he is rather tired after a gruelling schedule. He holds the Premier League and back-to-back World titles, but that’s in the price.
Six-time winner Phil Taylor is 13/2, he’s had a fantastic career but it would be no disgrace if he started dropping off the top now. I think there’s some great each-way value to be had outside of the top three in the market. Maybe Dave Chisnall at 20/1 the pick.
Alan Alger, PR