The point of sponsorship in Darts

Richard North throwing a dart at a dartboard

By Joshua Stewart, Owen Huggins, James Regan, Ethan Moss-Wills

Money is the stumbling block to talented darts players breaking into the full-time big time.

As the World Darts Grand Prix starts to heat up in Leicester, with the likes of Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright at the oche, a lot less money and attention has found the semi-professional game that continues in the background.

Despite playing a similar style, the sponsorship fees differ vastly between the two levels of the game. The experienced professionals earn 5 figures on average whereas the young up and comers trying to find a way to the professional game struggle to reach £5000.

Former Professional Darts Corporation player Richard “Richie” North has taken some time out of the game to be closer with his family, but the Englishman is now looking to re-join the tour cards despite the financial barricades that face newcomers and returning players alike.

Richard has been lucky enough to have found sponsors to help back his return, but others who also harbour a desire to make it to the big leagues aren’t always as lucky. “I know a lot of talented dart players who still have full-time jobs to fund their careers.”

Jarred Cole is another player on the fringes of the professional game but he too has to rely on sponsors to ensure that he can continue competing and fight for his place in the upper echelons of the sport.

The sponsorship fees that enable him to compete are also dependent on the fact that his performances continue to improve. A dip in form would result in a dip in sponsorship income and his dreams of making the major competitions would fall further from his grasp.

“It does add pressure to you because you always have to win to pay the bills at the end of the day.“

With such a big discrepancy in sponsorship, it remains to be seen whether it will reward those who perform well, or keep deserving players on the fringes of the Palace.