Bet365 to sponsor French Open on ITV

Bet365, the online betting company, has signed a significant six-figure deal to sponsor ITV's coverage of the 2012 French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros.

John Inverdale: will front ITV's live coverage of the French Open
John Inverdale: will front ITV's live coverage of the French Open

The deal, which was negotiated by creative agency Drummond Central and Stuart Feather's new media agency Republic of Media, will include sponsorship of all ITV coverage from the tournament across ITV1 and ITV4.

ITV's coverage starts on Sunday (27 May). Key matches, including the men's and ladies' singles finals, will be broadcast on ITV1 live, while daily extended live coverage of the 15-day tournament will be shown on sister channel ITV4.

It is the first time ITV has broadcast live tennis and its coverage of the tournament will be fronted by John Inverdale, with help from former players Amelie Mauresmo, Mark Petchey, Fabrice Santoro and Sam Smith.

Bet365's idents will be made by Drummond Central.

It is the second time Drummond Central and Republic of Media have negotiated a sponsorship between bet365 and ITV this year. In February, bet365 was unveiled as the sponsor of the soap, 'Emmerdale'.

Jason Spencer, business development director, ITV said: "Having brought on bet365bingo as the sponsor of 'Emmerdale' earlier in the year, we are delighted to be extending our relationship with the group.

"We believe the world-class sporting event is a great brand fit for bet365 and we look forward to another successful partnership."

ITV won the rights to the French Open in October last year. The tournament was previously broadcast by the BBC.

Follow Maisie McCabe on Twitter @MaisieMcCabe

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