Betfred have stepped up their continued support for rugby league and announced they have become title sponsors of the Challenge Cup. This means for the 2021 season, they will sponsor the ‘double’ as part of their long-running partnership with the Super League along with the new addition of the Challenge Cup.
The Betfred Challenge Cup winners will be crowned at Wembley in July, with the Betfred Super League trophy to be presented at Old Trafford in October. This new deal doesn’t just include the men’s game either, it also includes sponsorship of the Women’s Challenge Cup, which rounds off another double alongside the Betfred Women’s Super League.
In 2021, Betfred will complete an historic treble as they will become the first title partners of the Wheelchair Rugby League Challenge Cup. Leeds Rhinos have been the dominant force across all three respective Challenge Cups and became holders of the trio of trophies last October as their men’s side beat Salford Red Devils at Wembley.
Betfred boss Fred Done said: “I am delighted to be able to announce further support for the sport of Rugby League in what are incredibly difficult times. The Challenge Cup obviously has a rich heritage and I was also very keen to include both the Women’s Challenge Cup and the Wheelchair Challenge Cup in what is such an important year for the whole sport culminating with the World Cup in October/November.”
The rugby league season is almost upon us as the Challenge Cup is set to kick off the 2021 campaign on the weekend of March 21 before the 12 Betfred Super League clubs enter at the third round stage on the weekend of April 11. The draw for both the first and second rounds will be held on February 11. Teams will battle it out until we are down to the final two, who will contest the final at Wembley on Saturday July 17. Details and dates of the Betfred Women’s and Wheelchair Challenge Cups for 2021 will be announced in due course.
The RFL Chief Executive, Ralph Rimmer also expressed his delight at this new deal: “We are excited to announce an extension of Rugby League’s partnership with Betfred to include the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Challenge Cups in 2021.
“The Challenge Cup is Rugby League’s oldest knockout competition and even in the challenging circumstances of 2020, we were reminded of its enduring appeal with a national television audience of 1.6m watching Leeds Rhinos beat Salford Red Devils in the first - and hopefully last - Final played behind closed doors.
“Betfred have already shown their commitment to Women’s Rugby League by becoming the first title partners of the Betfred Women’s Super League in 2019, a reflection of the growing prestige of that competition.
“I’m especially pleased that they will also become the first title partners for the Wheelchair Challenge Cup, and at the RFL we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with them to increase the profile of all three of our Challenge Cups – building on their support for the Women’s Super League and also Betfred Championship and League 1.
“We are convinced that sport will play a key role in the regional and national recovery from Covid through 2021, and determined that Rugby League and the three Betfred Challenge Cups will be a big part of that story.”