The credit card brand will replace Carling from the start of the 2012/13 season. The Molson Coors owned brand all but ended its 14-year association in September last year after failing to agree an extension before the end of its exclusive negotiation period.
The value of the deal is undisclosed. The Football League had been pushing hard to improve the £20m over three-years Carling is said to have paid and had cast its net globally to find a sponsor to match its aspirations to sell the now Capital One Cup to international broadcasters.
Capital One is owned by US company Capital One Financial Corporation. But for the UK, it has limited presence outside North America after scaling back interests in Spain, Italy, France and South Africa.
For Capital One, the sponsorship offers an opportunity to boost brand awareness. Marketing of late has been limited to direct and press channels.
Brian Cole, chief executive of Capital One, says the sponsorship offers it a chance to “introduce ourselves to millions of football fans across the country.”
Capital One claims it has three million credit card customers in the UK. It opened its UK headquarters in Nottingham in 1997.