HUGE ONLINE MARKETING DEAL TEAMS SPORTECH AND 888.COM Three major football pool subsidiaries will benefit from agreement UK football pools operator Sportech will gain access to millions of online poker and casino players following an important marketing deal signed this week with the Gibraltar-based online gambling giant 888.com. The agreement comes into effect in September 2008. Describing the agreement as a "milestone" event, a Sportech statement said that its New Football Pools games, comprising the historic Littlewoods, Vernons and Zetters brands, are to be marketed across 888's entire gaming database later this year. The initiative will enable Sportech marketing to reach 888.com's 4.9 million globally registered customers, boosting Sportech's own player base of some 700 000 pools fans. Football pool betting has shrunk from highs in the 'nineties of 10 million players, and Sportech is attempting to revitalise the genre and attract a new and younger demographic. 888 will market all of Sportech's products, including casino, poker and bingo games, to the customers of both companies, with the creation of a new support and common gaming platform and wallet provided for Sportech. This element of the agreement will mean that Sportech's current online gambling software provider Cryptologic will be supplanted as Sportech's poker and casino games supplier by 888. Ian Penrose, the CEO at Sportech, said: "This is a strong strategic partnership for Sportech. This fits exactly with our strategy of reinvigorating the pools business and delivering an enhanced and modern product for today's gaming customers."