British-based betting and gambling operator Ladbrokes and the Rugby Football League have agreed to extend their current partnership resulting in the bookmaker maintaining its sponsorship title of the prestigious competition held annually since 1896.

Announced the week of the 2017 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final, the one-year extension will see the Wigan Warriors, the winningest team with 19 Cup titles; battle Hull FC, the current holders of the Cup won at Wembley Stadium last year.

The Challenge Cup has the distinction of being the only such tournament to involve amateur, semi-professional and professional clubs. The London-based bookmaker will continue to take advantage of the Cup’s vast and ever-growing fanbase. The competition’s broadcast partners include Sky Sports and the BBC, who have, this year, broadcast a record number of live games, according to the news release.

Commenting on the extension was Roger Draper, CCO for the Rugby Football League, who said that he was “delighted” with Ladbrokes decision and that the extension is “great news for the sport” and demonstrates the bookmaker’s commitment to supporting the tradition. “Ladbrokes have been a fantastic supporter of Rugby League and we are delighted that they are continuing their association with our great sport,” Draper reportedly said.

In an effort to help promote the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, Ladbrokes will maintain its close working relationship with players and fans alike on promotional activities throughout the season.

Jim Mullen, Ladbrokes Chief Executive, said: “Our decision to sponsor the Challenge Cup was an easy one. We want our name to be associated with prestigious, passionate sporting events and this ticks those boxes, so it was a no brainer when it came to extending our association with the game. We play hard to win and that’s what the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup is all about.”