Sponsorship Opportunities

  • Introduction
    • The British Darts Organisation (BDO) has been established since 1973 and represents the whole sport of darts from grass-roots right through to national, international, professional and world levels. This includes the BRITISH INTER-COUNTY DARTS CHAMPIONSHIPS, played from September to April/May and involving teams (men and women) representing some 66 counties in England, Scotland and Wales - plus the home country national teams (men and women) of ENGLAND, WALES and SCOTLAND

      The BDO is responsible for the rules, regulations and standards by which darts is played, and its over-riding commitment is to the organisation, promotion, staging and administration of darts nationally, internationally and globally.

      The BDO and WDF represent darts globally and as such can offer a potential sponsorship audience of millions of darts players – Men, Women and Youth – together with their families.

      As such, the BDO is recognised as governing body for the sport of darts in Britain and, as founder member of the World Darts Federation (representing over sixty darts playing nations) is justifiably proud of its status as the most respected darts organisation in the world.

      In June 2005, the British Darts Organisation secured unanimous recognition for darts as a sport from the sports councils of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

      In 2007, the WDF was accepted as a member of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) with a 79% vote in favour. This means that the WDF is officially recognised as the worldwide governing body for darts.

      Know-how, Organisation and Professionalism Guaranteed

      Sponsors will benefit from the fact that the BDO uses the services of a professional PR and Marketing consultancy, is administered by a democratically elected board of directors and as well as providing stage sets, darts equipment and expertise, also appoints the thousands of respected officials (including world class referees/callers) who officiate at all the darts events staged by the BDO each year.

  • Television

      The BDO World Professional Darts Championships have been staged annually since 1978 as a major BBC TV production over 9 consecutive days. BBC Worldwide market the World Pro to some 70 countries globally. To add considerably to the broadcast platform, ESPN (part of the Disney organisation) has broadcast both the 2011 Winmau World Masters and the 2012 World Pro and attracted audiences that are second only to football. Additional European and Asian coverage is provided by Eurosport and Eurosport Asia.

      Collectively this produces the largest TV audiences for darts in the world.

      The BDO has been at the very forefront of terrestrial televised darts for over thirty years. Its knowledge and expertise has been utilised to establish darts as a major televised sport, attracting multi-million audiences throughout the UK, Europe and the world.

      The BDO’s World Professional Championships – featuring both a Men’s and Women’s World Championship - is established as the first major sporting event on nationally-networked terrestrial television each year.

      The World Championships attract media interest from all over the world and the Press Office at host venue: Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green, Surrey the undisputed ‘Home of World Darts’ has had to be extended to accommodate the ever-growing numbers. Media includes journalists and photographers representing national and regional press throughout the UK and Europe, regional and national radio (BBC Radio 5 Live broadcast from the World Championship), additional TV crews and even film crews.


      The coverage over 9 days of competition is immense, and the real bonus is that it offers ‘name and product’ identity on both nationally networked BBC-1 and BBC-2 television at different times throughout the week: afternoon and evening highlight programmes, culminating in the live and uninterrupted World Championship final on BBC-2 on the concluding Sunday of the Championships.

      There is another bonus contained in the fact that the Men’s World Championship has been complemented by the Women’s World Championship – offering a broader and more diverse audience for potential sponsors.

      The BDO WORLD PROFESSIONAL DARTS CHAMPIONSHIPS are a unique sponsorship opportunity. The Lakeside Complex has been main title sponsor since 2004, but there are possibilities for co-sponsorship or peripheral sponsorship, i.e. advertising patches on players shirts, corporate sponsorship, etc.

      Possibilities going forward include the prospect of further ESPN darts coverage, including two major Dutch tournaments –the Zuiderduin Masters (Dec) and the Dutch Open (Feb).

  • TV Viewing Figures For Lakeside 2012
    • BBC:

      In total, 12.5 million viewers watched live and recorded coverage of the 2012 Championships on BBC throughout Lakeside week: January 7th to 15th, 2012.

      1.4 million tuned in to the daily afternoon and evening highlights programmes, and a peak of 2.6 million watched the live Semi-Final on the afternoon of January 14th.

      The live final on Sunday, January 15th attracted a peak audience of 2.9 million despite being up against ITV’s hugely popular ‘Dancing On Ice’. BBC’s Lakeside 2012 coverage enjoyed an excellent BBC Audience Appreciation score of 83.

      To put the BBC figures for the Final into perspective:

      DANCING ON ICE, Sunday, January 15th 8.3 million
      Call The Midwife 7.4 Million

      For the Lakeside World Final to attract 2.9 million of the remaining available audience was an excellent achievement.


      In total, 851,000 watched the coverage on ESPN/Classic across the week

      The average ratings of the live shows across the week stood at 61,073 (higher than the average rating for Europa League and Aviva Rugby in 2010/11), with an average of 228,000 tuning in for each live show (higher than the average reach for all ESPN properties with the exception of the EPL & FA Cup).

      The top performing show was on Friday evening when the average rating was over 100,000 for the 3½ hour show. The coverage peaked at 157,000 for the Semi Final on Saturday

      BDO darts has contributed 2.7% to all ratings for ESPN in the 2011/12 season and 28.7% to January so far - which is set to be one of ESPN's strongest ever months in terms of ratings.


      Lakeside was available in 99 countries via Eurosport and Eurosport Asia.

      It was featured on BBC Breakfast from 6.50 and every hour until 8.50 on Monday, January 9th (7 million viewers).

      On the opening Saturday (Jan 7th) BBC Radio Five Live broadcast its ‘Fighting Talk’ programme live from Lakeside for the very first time from 11AM to 12 mid-day.

      Dutch TV station RTL East attended the final for Christian Kist on Sunday, January 15th.

  • Potential Benefits to Sponsors
      • Name associated with the event
      • Name on printed/promotional materials
      • Signage at venues
      • Logos to complement the above
      • Professional publicity via the BDO’s own PR Consultant to provide publicity access to:
        • TV/satellite/cable/radio
        • Darts World magazine
        • National/regional media
        • BBC/BDO/WDF websites and other links
      • Excellent visual and name impact to a large group of consumers.
      • Association with a family orientated sport with strong, established social values and links.
  • Statistical Information
    • It is estimated that SEVEN MILLION people play darts in the UK. Of these, approximately TWO MILLION play their darts at organised, competitive levels.

      Darts is played and enjoyed by a broad section of the public – men, women and youth – and offers an incredible ‘reach’ for sponsors.

      Darts Players tend to have strong family values and are socially active and aware.

      The majority enjoy:
      • Drinking and socialising.
      • Reading daily newspapers and a variety of magazines.
      • Good relationships, children and extended families.
      • Gambling
      • Regular holidays.
      • Are car drivers
      • Earn average/above average salaries
      • Are mortgage payers.
      • Take out insurances
      • Use credit/debit cards
      • Use a mobile telephone
      • Have access to a personal computer at home.

      Over 50% of the adult population in the UK express an interest in darts: An estimated 5.7 million men and 3.1 million women are darts fans.

      Almost one-quarter of all adults have played darts

      Darts is the fourth most popular participation sport in the UK

       Age Breakdown
      Age Players
      18 - 24 11%
      25 - 34 21%
      35 - 44 18%
      45 - 54 16%
      55 - 64 13%
      65 + 21%

       Socio-economic Groups
      Group %
      AB 21%
      C1 27%
      C2 23%
      DE 29%

       Regional Split
      Region %
      Scotland 9%
      North & Midlands 25%
      London & Anglia 20%
      South East 32%
      South West & Wales 14%

       TV Viewers Of Darts
      Type %
      Regular 40%
      Occasional 43%
      Source: RSL Leisure Monitor
  • Growth
    • The growth of darts is perhaps best illustrated by the increase in youth and women’s darts in the UK. Youth players (boys and girls) are well catered for in the BDO County system and are also included in major Championships like the Winmau World Masters. Youth players not only enjoy the competitive element of darts, but also the social benefits that it provides.

      More women than ever before are now playing darts up to, and including, the highest competitive levels nationally, internationally and worldwide. The BDO includes women in all of its competitions and introduced the first ever Women’s World Professional Championship as an integral part of the World Professional Darts Chamopionships in 2001.


      In all BDO tournaments players must adhere to a strictly observed dress code. This stipulates that all players must be smartly attired at all times.

  • Why Do BDO Darts Offer Excellent Sponsorship Returns
    • As a direct result of BDO rules and standards, modern day darts players tend to be younger, fitter and generally more image conscious than their latter-day counterparts.

      As such, BDO darts is ideally suited to sponsorship because it enjoys an enviable reputation as a national/international/worldwide sport, established, recognised, played and enjoyed by millions.

      • It attracts family-orientated TV audiences
      • It is a fast, exciting sport, easy and enjoyable to watch
      • It produces instantly recognisable characters and stars
      • It is accessible, affordable and socially enjoyable
      • It has no language or cultural barriers
      • It can be played by both sexes
      • Its rules are easy to understand
      • It can be tailor-made to suit any sponsor
      • Stage sets and know-how come as standard
      • The whole darts package is provided