William Hill sponsors cycle race


William Hill Online signs as last-minute sponsor for La Vuelta

Internet gambling group William Hill Online has signed on as a last-minute sponsor for La Vuelta, one of the world's premier road cycling races, reports Sports Pro Media.

The company is to offer a range of promotions and deals on the race, which begins on August 29th from Assen, Netherlands and will end on 20th September in Madrid, Spain.

WHO's country manager for Spain, Ricardo Carioni said of the race: "We understand and respect the history of La Vuelta and more particularly the passion that it ignites within the cycling community. The coverage of La Vuelta is far reaching and provides for strong brand visibility across multiple TV networks right across Europe for three solid weeks."

Pablo Lopez-Barajas, La Vuelta's commercial director, added: "The involvement within sports sponsorship from leading companies in new business sectors, shows what a great sporting environment Spain is enjoying at the moment and particularly the sport of cycling and La Vuelta."

William Hill said they were paying "an undisclosed sum", though independent assessments put the value of the deal at $400 000. Will Hill will be one of the top three sponsors of the race, the sponsor of the green jersey awarded to the top sprinter. It is the first time an online gambling firm has been allowed to sponsor a major cycle race.

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