Leyland Paints will be throwing its name into the eyes of millions of sports fans across the UK, after unveiling a high profile darts sponsorship with two of the world’s best players.

Leyland has stepped up to the oche by agreeing to sponsor 2008 BDO world champion Mark Webster and 2010 PDC world championship runner-up Simon Whitlock for the whole of the 2012 season, as the pair bid to cement their statuses as household names in the sport.

With more than 200,000 sports fans inside the arenas along with a television audience of 12.5 million viewers in 2010 alone, the brand believes that the time has never been better to target the tungsten for a sustained period.

Marketing manager Sharon Hendry said: “The potential of our darts sponsorship is absolutely huge and we are thrilled to be involved with the sport.

“Aside from Premier League football, the darts world championship drew the biggest audience on Sky Sports last year, which underlines how powerful the sport is. Simon and Mark are firm crowd favourites already and we are thrilled to be working with from now on.”

Before turning professional, Simon was a builder by trade, while Mark Webster is a professional plumber and still likes to keep busy working in between tournaments.

Simon, known as The Wizard, said: “I am delighted to receive the support from Leyland. I have come across their product from my time as a builder, so it is great to be working even closer with brand from now on.

“I’ll be doing all I can to gain maximum exposure by winning as many tournaments as possible!”

Mark Webster, from Denbigh, Wales, said: “I have been in the Professional Darts Corporation for over two years now, and even in that time I have seen the sport grow so much.”

The current world number six added: “For me to be able to receive the backing of Leyland is the best news I could wish for. They are a huge paint brand and one I will be wearing on my shirt with pride.”

Aside from the sponsorship itself, both Simon and Mark will be making a number of personal appearances for Leyland, while incentives throughout the year mean customers will get the chance to see the pair play at future televised tournaments.

Sharon concluded: “More than 20 per cent of the UK’s population were exposed to darts in 2010 and it is now regarded as the second most popular sport on Sky behind football.

“With all this in mind, we couldn’t be more excited to be involved with Simon and Mark, who we will be cheering on from now on!”

Leyland’s sponsorship of the two players will officially kick-off at the World Championships in December at the Alexandra Palace, London.

However, Mark Webster will be wearing the Leyland branding on his shirt even sooner than that, at the Players’ Championship from December 8.

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