Tuesday  November 15, 2011 : With its first greyhound racing sponsorship
 
The Irish internet betting exchange firm Betdaq has become the official sponsor of the inaugural Greyhound Premier League, a new competition run by the Greyhound Owners’ Breeders’ And Trainers’ Association (GOBATA).
 
The Betdaq Premier League sponsorship aims to introduce an innovative structure to greyhound racing that will help the sport appeal to a wider audience.
It allows trainers and owners, as individuals or groups, to form a team of five greyhounds and compete against the best in the country, with the team format giving all owners and trainers the opportunity to compete at the highest level.
 
The first qualifying heats of the sponsored league will take place at Doncaster Greyhound Stadium on Yorkshire Leger night, on Wednesday 16th November, with coverage on Sky Sports television. A total of three qualifying events will take place, with six teams competing at each for two places.
 
Each Betdaq Premier League season will then consist of four nights of racing over an eight-week period, with points awarded for finishing positions in each race and teams relegated and promoted at the completion of each campaign.
 
After the first qualifying night on Sky Sports the league will be televised live on Premier Sports, Sky channel 433, with Grand Finals night taking place in February 2012 at Doncaster.
 
Betdaq marketing director Shane McLaughlin says: “Greyhound racing is an important product for our members and we have been assessing how to build a presence in the sport over the last year. GOBATA approached us with this new and innovative Premier League concept and we jumped at the chance to become lead sponsor and make the Betdaq Premier League a reality.”
 
Martin White, who chairs GOBATA, added: “We are hoping that the Betdaq Premier League will reinvigorate greyhound racing in the UK. Once established, with reputations building and rivalries created, we will have a product that will capture the imagination of the public and the betting industry.
 
“The Premier League format has already proved successful in darts and snooker, combining both immediacy and a narrative. We are aiming to significantly increase the revenues going back to greyhound owners, breeders, trainers and kennel staff, and across all sections of practitioner involvement.”