German utility heavyweight E.ON has clinched a deal to become the new sponsor of the FA Cup, the English knock-out soccer tournament.

Under the terms of the agreement signed with the Football Association, the trophy will become known as ‘the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON’. The deal will run until 2011 and includes an agreement to sponsor the Women’s FA Cup and the FA Youth Cup.

The deal marks a notable expansion of E.ON’s interest in UK sports sponsorship. Through its Powergen brand, the firm already backs competitions in both rugby league and rugby union.

FA chief executive Brian Barwick said: We are delighted to have a company of E.ON’s stature as its lead partner.

This deal will provide us with an opportunity to build our reputation.