It was announced yesterday that the Scottish Football Association had struck a three year sponsorship deal with bookmakers William Hill, ending the search for a sponsor of the Scottish Cup. The deal is believed to be worth around one million pounds a year and will see the competition renamed “The William Hill Scottish Cup”.

Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan, said: “We are proud to have a leading brand like William Hill as sponsor of the Scottish Cup for the next three seasons. ”

Regan continued: “The new 2011/12 William Hill Scottish Cup begins in just a few weeks’ time and with the competition now securing a new sponsor, we can now look forward another exciting season ahead.”

The Scottish Cup had been without a sponsor since 2007, meaning that the SFA had to subsidise the competition. That problem is now solved, and with William Hill already sponsoring such major Scottish sporting events as the Ayr Gold Cup, as well as the Scottish Premier League, the deal looks like a match made in heaven.

The first round draw for the newly titled William Hill Scottish Cup took place today, in Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries Shopping Centre. Last year’s winning captain – Celtic’s Scott Brown – helped to make the draw, along with Scottish FA president Campbell Ogilvie.

Although the big boys of the Scottish Premier League don’t enter the Scottish Cup until the fourth round, fans of lower league football in Scotland were still excited to see the outcome of the first round draw.

Here is the Scottish Cup first round draw in full:

Rothes v Clachnacuddin
Fort William v Bo’ness United
Edinburgh City v Brora Rangers
Nairn County v Selkirk
Fraserburgh v Civil Service Strollers
Wigtown and Bladnoch v Preston Athletic
Lossiemouth v Auchinleck Talbot
Huntly v Newton Stewart
Forres Mechanics v Irvine Meadow
Dalbeattie Star v Inverurie Loco Works
Wick Academy v Coldstream
Glasgow University v Cove Rangers
Vale of Leithen v Girvan
Gala Fairydean v Hawick Royal Albert
Culter v Burntisland Shipyard
Edinburgh University v Whitehill Welfare
St Cuthbert Wanderers v Keith

All Scottish Cup first round ties will take place on the weekend of September 24th, 2011.

New Scottish Cup sponsors William Hill rate both Celtic and Rangers as joint favourites at a best price of 3.00, though the majority of bookmakers rate Celtic as slight favourites to defend their title.

Of the remaining market leaders, Hearts are given a quote of 11.00, with Dundee United priced at 13.00 (both William Hill) and Aberdeen are best priced 19.00 with Paddy Power.