This year promises to be a memorable one for the Challenge Cup. Not only has the historic tournament picked up a fantastic new sponsor in the shape of Ladbrokes but the 2015 final will be held 120 years to the day after Rugby League was founded.
Ladbrokes announced a new three-year-deal to sponsor the event earlier this month at an event that coincided with the First Round draw at Wembley Stadium.
Here’s a sneak peek at the behind the scenes action from the day of the draw:
The Challenge Cup – Where better to start than with a picture of the famous trophy in all its glory. The Cup was housed – under watchful eyes – in Dressing Room 2, where last year’s winners Leeds Rhinos were based before lifting this very cup.
The Offical Logo: The design wizards at Ladbrokes’ head office wanted something simple but effective that honoured the historic nature of the competition and here’s the final effort – we think they nailed it!
Electronic hoarding: Pitch side advertising has come a long way since Troggs and Barret Building Services painted their own slogans. This has to be the cream of the crop though – our name in lights circling around Wembley Stadium!
The Talent Arrives: You’ll hear them before you see them! Martin ’Chariots’ Offiah and Brian ‘Nobby’ Noble discuss the cup with the BBC before fighting it out over who won our quiz!
The big boys get their hands on the prize: RFL Chairman Brian Barwick and Ladbrokes CEO Richard Glynn cemented the partnership with a hand shake and this photo opportunity.
Excuse me that’s ours: Four-time winner Offiah and successful Bradford Bulls coach Noble take the silverware from the suits to reacquaint themselves with the trophy.
Draw time: The assembled media and first round hopefuls gather in Dressing Room 2 to see who Offiah and Noble will pull out of the bag for them.
Draw done: Even in the era when the gadget is king you can’t beat a clipboard and pen to record the draw live. Here’s the final thing propped up by the cup!
Farewell – for now: The Wembley crew give us a glimpse of how the stadium will look on Challenge Cup final day resplendent with the Ladbrokes logo.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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