Following two successful seasons’ as WPL headline sponsor, Dafabet will be step down at the end of the 2016/17 season.
The introduction of Dafabet over the last two seasons has assisted the continual development of the league’s professionalism, brand presence and club’s growth.
During this successful relationship, Dafabet, were a part of history via The New Saints as they set a world record on Friday 30th December 2016 for the most consecutive wins in top-flight football with a 2-0 victory at Cefn Druids. The great Ajax team of Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens and Arie Haan won 26 consecutive games in 1972 at a time when the Dutch club were dominating European football. But TNS, who were currently 21 points clear at the top of the Welsh Premier League, eclipsed those figures with a 21st successive win in the league this season – and 27th in total. This season they have also competed in the Irn-Bru Cup in Scotland and part of their record includes wins over Forfar and Livingston before bowing out in the semi-final against St Mirren.
Head of Sponsorships, John Cruces, reflected positively on Dafabet’s tenure as headline partner – “As Title Sponsor of the WPL, we would like to thank the WPL for their professionalism and commitment to maximising our sponsorship rights during the past two seasons. Your hard work and dedication during this time has been greatly appreciated. Dafabet have enjoyed working with the WPL. We remain committed to supporting Welsh football through our partnership with the FAW and will continue to support the WPL as football fans.”
All twelve of the clubs that compete in the league have ensured that the new-found professionalism starts from within. Supported by the leagues design toolkit, each club has developed their own professional digital platform, and by extending interest and engagement through various social media channels each club has developed an increasing positive presence within their respective communities.
Investment of £8m in 3G playing surface projects, including £6m in support from the Football Association of Wales, is testament to the collective belief that the governing bodies have in the league. But while playing surfaces and stadiums are better than ever before, the real proof of how the league has developed is in the quality of football it produces. There is no better indication of this than in the investment and support of broadcasters S4C. In addition to showing a live game every Saturday evening, extended highlights of every game are available on-line with post-match reaction from managers and players.
The Football Association of Wales’ Head of Commercial & Marketing, Ian Davis stated, “Dafabet have been a valued partner of the Welsh Premier League, and we would like to thank Dafabet for their belief and investment in the WPL for the last two seasons.” “The success of the Welsh Premier League on and off the pitch over recent seasons has become evident and Dafabet have helped us grow the WPL brand. We’ve grown from strength to strength not only due to the valuable partnerships we’ve created but also in our marketing & communications strategy, along with our clubs improved results in European competitions.”
European results have been a well-worn stick used to beat the league in the past, but there was no better sign of progress than the 2015 summer, when The New Saints and Newtown progressed in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League respectively. TNS and gap Connah’s Quay achieved the same outcome as TNS and Newtown in the 2016 summer.
Success reaps reward, and with four European places available, the significant financial benefits of competing and achieving success domestically and abroad ensures that our clubs continue to progress on and off the field. The four clubs competing in Europe shared over £1.5m in prize money this season alone. 2017/18 onwards prevails to be yet another exciting time for the National League in Wales as it embarks on a new television deal with S4C, it’s broadcaster partner since 2011. A new improved Mitre deal with our long servicing official ball partners along with new projects including a centralised online ticketing platform and streaming matches outside of the UK to the International market.