Betfred.com today announced a new exciting partnership with World Snooker to become the main Sponsor of the World Snooker Championship for the next four years.

The sport's most prestigious tournament will now be known as the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship.

The event at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield runs from April 18 to May 4 and is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar and features all of snooker's top players, including defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, seven-times winner Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Steve Davis, Shaun Murphy, Mark Selby and Ali Carter.

Announcing the deal Betfred boss Fred Done said:

"It's always been an ambition of mine to sponsor a World Championship and this is a competition with so much history. When it comes to snooker this is the pinnacle of the sport and I look forward to watching the world's greatest 32 players."

World Snooker chairman Sir Rodney Walker said:

"We are extremely pleased to have entered into a long term partnership with Betfred.com. Betfred.com is a fantastic company for our sport to be associated with and once again they have demonstrated their support to the benefit of all fans. The fact that we have been able to secure a four year agreement within the current economic climate is testament to the popularity of snooker, in the UK and internationally. We look forward to working together with Betfred.com to build and develop the sport further over the coming years."

Betfred.com are no strangers to the world of sport and have already secured deals with Wembley and Manchester United to be their exclusive online bookmaking and gaming partners.

After successfully sponsoring Snooker's Premier League, the players are very pleased with the announcement.

Snooker legend Stephen Hendry said:

"I'm delighted that we have found a sponsor for the World Championship. I've known the people at Betfred.com for several years so I know that snooker will be able to build a great relationship with them."

Last year's Crucible runner-up Ali Carter said:

"It's great news for snooker and all the players. The World Championship is our biggest event and having a major sponsor in Betfred.com adds to the prestige, so it's brilliant to have that secured for the next four years."
Rising star Mark Selby, last year's Masters champion, added:

"So many millions of people in the UK and internationally love snooker. The amount of TV coverage and viewing figures are very strong, and obviously Betfred.com has realised that. Everyone can now look forward to a great tournament."

Last year, the tournament received 127 hours of coverage from BBC Sport, with 24.5 million adults watching at least five minutes of consecutive action. It also received extensive coverage around the world with a reach of over 60 million individuals on Eurosport, and a peak audience of over 10 million CCTV5 (China) alone.

Betfred Company Facts
* Established 1967 by brothers Fred and Peter Done.
* World's biggest independent bookmaker and one of the top four in the UK.
* Official bookmaker and gaming partner of both Wembley Stadium and Manchester United.
* More bonuses, consolations and early-priced horse races than any other bookmaker.
* UK's biggest independent high street retailer with 800 shops across the UK.
* Annual turnover in excess £1.5 billion.
* Over 3,000 employees.
* £70 million being spent on expansion in next five years.