Sponsors Travis Perkins signed a three-year deal in 2003 to sponsor the event. They were rewarded this year with up to 35 hours of national television broadcast coverage from the BBC as well as extensive newspaper coverage. To the clever clogs who spotted the potential of that sponsorship opportunity ... we salute you!
Travis Perkins has a strong commitment to sports sponsorship, including deals with the Northampton Saints rugby union club and sponsorship of the Senior Masters Golf at Wentworth.
Meanwhile snooker's other major UK event, the World Championships, could be heading for a new home in 2006. The event has been held at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre for the past 28 years but Sheffield is bidding against five other UK cities to host the event in 2006. The rival bidders - Liverpool, Newcastle, Preston, Manchester and Birmingham - each raise interesting possibilities for local sponsors. World Snooker, the sport's governing body, is expected to announce the winning venue in April 2005.