The PDC World Darts Championship gets under way on Thursday 15 December and broadcaster Sky has donated on-shirt sponsorship to the pub industry to show support for the trade during Christmas and the event that runs until Tuesday 3 January.
Five players who are taking part in the tournament will have their shirt sponsored by a local pub of their choice after Sky donated the sponsorship opportunity as part of their Everyone Loves a Local campaign. The campaign aims to shine a spotlight on local pubs as well as reinforce the close links between darts, live sport and community pubs.
The five darts players who nominated a Sky Sports pub local to their area included Steve Beaton, Jamie Hughes, Ricky Evans, Robert Own and Lisa Ashton. Steve Beaton will be sponsored by the King’s Arms in North Walsham, Norfolk; Ricky Evans by the Warren in Kettering, Northamptonshire; Robert Owen by the Royal Oak in Bryncethin, south Wales; Lisa Aston by Hogarths in Bolton, Greater Manchester; and Jamie Hughes by the Gospel Oak in Tipton, West Midlands.
Tipton resident Hughes paid a visit to the Gospel Oak before heading off to London’s Alexandra Palace for the tournament.
The Gospel Oak is owned by Marston’s and was nominated by Hughes due to its proximity to his home and to show his support for the pub and the role that it plays within the community. The pub’s name will feature on his shirt, whose World Darts Championship campaign gets under way when he faces Jimmy Hendriks on Tuesday 20 December at 7pm.
Hughes said “I’m more than happy to wear a shirt encouraging locals to head to the Gospel Oak – it is somewhere that always offers a warm welcome, great food and drink, good conversation and, of course, a great atmosphere when live sport is showing. It’s an incredibly important place for Tipton locals and I hope this activity encourages more people to head to their local to enjoy the darts.”
The Gospel Oak licensee Kirsten Duncan said: “We’re delighted to have the pub namechecked by Jamie and we can’t wait to see The Gospel Oak on Sky Sports. The pub offers a friendly and warm welcome for our customers and having the darts on the TV really adds to the fun and festive atmosphere at this time of year.”