The EFL has today secured a record value partnership with Checkatrade that sees the market-leading trade vetting and monitoring website become the Official Title Sponsor of the EFL Trophy.The competition has been renamed as the Checkatrade Trophy with immediate effect as clubs from Sky Bet League One and League Two get ready to compete with 16 Category 1 Academy teams from the Premier League and the Sky Bet Championship for the first time.
Kicking off in the week commencing 29th August, for the 2016/17 EFL season, the first stage of the Checkatrade Trophy will see 16 regionalised groups of four teams go head to head in the reinvigorated competition format. The groups include at least one side from each of Leagues One and Two, alongside one Category 1 Academy team.
Of each group, the top two teams will progress into the knockout stages of the competition, with eventual finalists going on to contest the showpiece Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium on 2nd April 2017.
Shaun Harvey, the Chief Executive of the EFL, said: “We are delighted to have signed up Checkatrade as title sponsor for our revamped competition – the Checkatrade Trophy. With credibility and reputation critical to the success of the Checkatrade brand, we feel there are some strong synergies between us both and look forward to developing them throughout the sponsorship term that could run for a five-year period.
“With major changes heading the way of the competition in 2016/17, including the introduction of 16 Category 1 sides, this partnership is the perfect platform for Checkatrade. It will also present them with a rare opportunity to be directly associated with cup football in England and a Wembley Final.
“Like ourselves, Checkatrade recognise the huge potential in this competition and through their generous support and the changes we have made to the format, we are in a position to be able deliver additional prize money that makes participating in the Checkatrade Trophy an even more attractive prospect for our clubs.”
Kevin Byrne, Founder and CEO of Checkatrade, said: “As a football fan, it has been a long-term goal to partner a well-known English football competition and as many of our listed trades are also fans, this makes our sponsorship of the new Checkatrade Trophy even more exciting.
“This considerable sponsorship is the latest step in our marketing strategy to remain firmly in the public eye. We’re delighted to be associated with so many well respected and prestigious clubs participating in the Checkatrade Trophy and we look forward to engaging with fans over the coming season.”