Betfair execs were no doubt celebrating this week following the announcement that the UK online betting group has been selected as a sponsor by the world famous football club Manchester United. Perhaps in a less celebratory frame of mind will be Fred Done's Betfred company, which has been replaced.
 
Betfair's three year official partnership deal with Manchester United allows the betting company to use the Manchester United logo in marketing activities and run perimeter board signage at Old Trafford.
 
The gambling firm has also launched a new football website at Betfairfootball.com , which will include content from Manchester United players. Betfair has already introduced the “Betfair Goal Challenge”, which will see United strikers Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov compete to score the most goals over the coming season – each League strike will earn GBP 1 000 for the Manchester United Foundation.
 
The deal with Man U is the first Betfair has agreed with a football club since its one-year shirt deal with Fulham in 2003. The company sponsors a wide range of other sports, including horseracing and cricket.