BGC Partners has become the title sponsor of the Masters snooker tournament.
The global brokerage company has agreed a deal with governing body World Snooker that will see the event, which is the most prestigious invitational competition in the sport, renamed the BGC Masters. This year's tournament runs from Sunday until 22nd January and will be broadcast in a range of markets on the BBC, Eurosport, CCTV5, GSC Shanghai and NowTV Hong Kong.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: "It gives us great pleasure to bring in a new title sponsor for one of our biggest tournaments, especially one as prestigious as BGC Partners. This is a huge step forward for our sport and demonstrates the growing appeal of snooker on a global scale."
Shaun Lynn, the president of BGC Partners, added: "The Masters is one of the most prestigious and well-recognised events in the snooker industry's calendar and BGC Partners is proud to be title sponsor for the first time this year. BGC prides itself on the excellence of the services our world-class brokers and state-of-the-art technology provide to clients around the globe. We are delighted to join with the world's top snooker players in presenting this championship event to snooker enthusiasts and sports fans worldwide."
Ding Junhui of China will defend his BGC Masters title at London's Alexandra Palace against a field including the rest of the world's top 16 players.