The World Snooker Association (WSA) is seeking a sponsor for next year’s world championship as its deal with tobacco manufacturer Embassy comes to an end following the advertising and sponsorship clampdown on cigarette brands.
The event, which starts on Saturday, will be the last to carry a cigarette brand name, ending a 30-year association. It is understood to be one of the longest-running deals in UK sports sponsorship.
The association is keen to attract new sponsors to the event and has not ruled out changing the sponsorship format. A WSA spokesman says: “It is our biggest event in the UK and we are in talks. We can have one headline sponsor or we can do something on the lines of the Champions League and have several sponsors.”
To commemorate the event, Imperial Tobacco has launched special packs across the Embassy Number 1 range featuring snooker balls and a cue on the lid.
All tobacco sponsorship deals must be phased out in the UK by July. The tournament will be the last major UK sporting event to have a cigarette brand as a sponsor.