The EFL Trophy will now be known as the Bristol Street Motors Trophy with immediate effect after the League agreed a three-year deal with the award-winning national automotive brand.
As well as being the title-sponsor of the competition until the end of the 2025/26 season, Bristol Street Motors – part of the wider Vertu Motors group – will also become the official car dealer of the EFL.
The rebranding will be in place ahead of the next round of Bristol Street Motors Trophy fixtures, which get underway on Tuesday, November 7.
The Bristol Street Motors Trophy is a competition that supports youth development by providing opportunities for the next generation of players at both EFL clubs and invited under 21 sides.
Of the squad that helped England to qualify for next year’s European Championship in Germany, Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka, Reece James and Conor Gallagher all made their professional debuts in the competition.
Half of all players named in the matchday squads of League One and Two clubs, up to and including the quarter finals of last year’s competition, were aged 21 and under, with 64 per cent of those qualifying to represent England.
The overall prize pot of almost £3 million, which provides significant revenue for each League One and League Two club, will increase over the next two years with the investment from Bristol Street Motors.
More than 300,000 fans watched the competition throughout last season – a year on year increase of more than 50,000 – and it ended with Bolton Wanderers winning the Trophy in front of a crowd of 79,389 supporters at Wembley, making it the highest attended fixture across Europe that weekend.
With the Bristol Street Motors Trophy involving clubs across the country, the new partnership gives Bristol Street Motors the opportunity to engage football fans and their communities (online and offline), on both a national and local level over the course of the agreement.
Originally operating from a single dealership in Birmingham, Bristol Street Motors has grown to become one of the largest automotive retailers in the UK, with the award-winning brand rapidly becoming one of the most trusted names for anyone looking for either a new or used car purchase.
The EFL’s chief executive officer Trevor Birch said: “We are delighted to welcome Bristol Street Motors as title sponsor of the EFL Trophy in a partnership that sees further investment into League One and Two clubs over the duration of the deal.
“With almost 22 million supporters coming through the turnstiles in all our competitions last year, a thriving community network and a landmark broadcast deal in place for next season which will see all Bristol Street Motors Trophy fixtures broadcast live by Sky Sports, the appeal of the EFL continues to grow from strength to strength offering a unique, valuable platform for our commercial partners."
Chief executive officer at Bristol Street Motors Robert Forrester added: “As a national business, Bristol Street Motors is hugely proud of the connections we have developed with communities across the UK through our dealership network.
“Across the communities, football is something that brings people together, so the opportunity to join forces with the EFL and clubs that are such an important part of life for our customers was something that was simply too good to turn down.
“We are hugely excited to be named as title sponsor of the EFL Trophy and look forward to engaging with clubs and fans over the next three years to make the competition bigger and better than ever before.”
A midweek knockout cup competition, the Bristol Street Motors Trophy includes clubs from Sky Bet League One and League Two, plus an additional 16 invited sides from Premier League and Sky Bet Championship clubs with category one academies.
The competition was first established in 1983 and offers clubs a realistic opportunity of appearing in a showpiece final. Central to the competition is the introduction of a group stage format with 16 regional groups of four teams.
The groups are made up of one invited category one side, with the remainder made up of EFL clubs from either League One or League Two, with fixtures regionalised until the quarter-final stage of the competition.
The top two teams from each group will progress to the knockout stages of the competition, with the final staged at Wembley Stadium.