Ladbrokes join SJA to make lunches a safe bet

The Sports Journalists’ Association of Great Britain and Ladbrokes have today agreed a unique partnership under which the world’s largest betting firm will sponsor the biggest sports media member organisation in the world.

Initially a one-year deal, Ladbrokes will work together with the SJA on a series of all-star special lunches for the sports media.

The SJA has been organising these events for many years, some of its recent guests including Sir Clive Woodward, England’s Rugby World Cup-winning coach now working for the British Olympic Association, Rebecca Adlington, the double Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer, Terry Butcher, the former England football captain, and Phil “The Power” Taylor, the multiple world darts champion.

The next SJA Ladbrokes Lunch will be in London on Thursday, November 17 with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Britain’s most successful Paralympian.

“We stage these lunches for the benefit of our members and other sports journalists, and they regularly help to generate strong stories,” Steven Downes, the SJA’s Secretary, said.

“We are very grateful to Ladbrokes for coming on board, and with their help, we can work on a very strong programme of lunch guests right the way through Olympic year.”

For Ladbrokes, David Williams said, “We are very excited to be teaming up with our friends at the SJA. We have been to their events in the past and have always been impressed at the way in which these usually relaxed occasions can drive the following day’s back-page headlines.

“We are sure that this sponsorship will help to bring Ladbrokes closer to the sports media and we hope to have plenty of fun along the way.”

Notes for editors

Ladbrokes is the world’s biggest bookmaker, employing more than 16,000 people worldwide. With 2,700 betting shops in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Spain, 85,000 telephone betting customers and more than 800,000 active customers online, thousands of markets are available every day.

Founded in 1886 as an exclusive bookmaker to the wealthiest and most famous (and infamous) titled gentlemen of the Victorian age, Ladbrokes has grown to become a multi-billion pound company with sport at the heart of its activities. Prominent at many sporting events, Ladbrokes operate at eight Premier League grounds and nine racecourses, including Ascot and have a multi-million pound sports sponsorship portfolio, including the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace each Christmas.

The Sports Journalists’ Association of Great Britain was founded in 1948. It has more than 800 members, all sports media professionals, including reporters, broadcasters, editors and photographers, some of them household names throughout Britain, and the world. The SJA’s President is Sir Michael Parkinson.

As well as regular sports lunches, the SJA also organises two major sports award events each year, the British Sports Journalism Awards (to be staged next March), and the British Sports Awards, the oldest awards of their kind in Britain. The 2011 gala lunch celebration of the past year’s successes in British sport is being staged at the Grand Connaught Rooms in the West End of London on December 7.

If you have any questions regarding this press release, please contact:

LADBROKES: David Williams on 0208 515 5995
SJA: Steven Downes on 07710 428 562 or

SJA WORKING LUNCH: Baroness Grey-Thompson on the 2012 London Paralympics. Thu Nov 17: click here for booking details