Cinch arrives as new SPFL title sponsor in league's 'largest-ever' deal
The Scottish Professional Football League’s protracted search for a title sponsor is over after Cinch, the UK online car marketplace was today unveiled as the new partner in a record five-year deal.
The company’s agreement covers all four divisions, and runs to the end of the 2025-26 season, with SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster saying it is the league’s “largest-ever sponsorship”.
With effect from the 2021-22 campaign, the top flight will be known as the Cinch Premiership, with the lower-tier Championship, League 1 and League 2 taking on similar names, and the company also becoming the SPFL’s official car partner.
In addition, the Cinch logo will be displayed on the sleeves of players’ shirts.
The deal was brokered by sports agency GV6 Sport Collective, which was appointed by the SPFL in February of this year to find a new principal partner.
The league went through the 2020-21 season without a main sponsor after betting company Ladbrokes opted not to extend its partnership, which dated back to the 2015-16 campaign, and the search was complicated by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Ladbrokes' final deal was reported to be worth £5 million ($7 million) over two seasons.
Cinch only launched in 2019, but the new agreement builds on its burgeoning sponsorship portfolio, with the company having this year having this year become the principal partner of England Cricket, and also aligned with English soccer’s Tottenham Hotspur, the UK’s Lawn Tennis Association for the Cinch Championships held at Queen’s Club in London and English Premiership Rugby’s Northampton Saints.
Cinch is competing in the UK online used car market with Cazoo, which has also been building up an extensive presence in domestic sport.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said today: “This is an enormously significant partnership for our member clubs, and for Scottish football as a whole. Our discussions with cinch have been extremely positive and the duration of the sponsorship agreement demonstrates their long-term commitment to Scottish football.
“Despite the economic situation and the challenging nature of the global sponsorship industry generally, this is the largest-ever sponsorship in the SPFL era. It’s a ringing endorsement of the enduring popularity of Scottish football, not only north of the border but right around the world. It’s an exciting time for the Scottish game and I look forward to building on this new partnership as we continue to showcase Scottish football and maximise its exposure to a global audience.”
Robert Bridge, Cinch chief customer officer, added: “We are delighted to support the SPFL and welcome them to our high-profile family of sports sponsorships. It’s another great win for cinch that will play such an important role in putting us and our customers at the centre of some fantastic sporting moments.
“Scottish football has a UK audience of over 20 million but more importantly, it is the heartbeat of the Scottish community. As football fans make a return to stadiums for the new season cinch looks forward to being there alongside them for all those celebratory moments we’ve missed so much as we continue to make buying a car as faff-free as possible across Scotland and the UK.”
The deal comes on the back of Premier Sports, the UK and Ireland pay-television broadcaster, recently being named as the new title sponsor of the Scottish League Cup for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, and extending its media rights deal until the end of the 2026-27 campaign.