THE Hong Kong League has landed a $1 million-plus sponsorship deal just hours before tonight's big kick-off. Tobacco giants Philip Morris yesterday stepped in to sponsor the First Division which will now be known as the Hong Kong Marlboro League. The Hong Kong deal is Philip Morris' second venture into league sponsorship in Asia having earlier injected US$1 million in the fledgling Chinese Professional League. But Philip Morris and the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) refused to disclose the exact amount of money involved in the one-year deal. Felix Cheung, promotions manager of Philip Morris, said details surrounding the allocation of prizes and prize money of the new League will be announced later as the deal was finalised quickly. 'We only give out the money and we'll leave it up to the HKFA on how to use it,' said Cheung. Cheung said the Hong Kong sponsorship was independent of the China League and he did not know whether there would be any joint venture between the two Leagues. Even though the Hong Kong Stadium will be closed for a period during the season, Cheung said Philip Morris still went along with the sponsorship deal. 'Of course we want to have more League games at the Stadium,' said Cheung. 'But I don't think the temporary closure would affect us. It's not appropriate to comment on the Stadium.' Philip Morris are not concerned over potential controversy regarding their image as cigarette manufacturers and sports sponsors at the same time. 'We want to promote Marlboro's trademark only and we're not emphasising the product we're selling,' said Cheung. Marlboro will continue to sponsor the biennial Dynasty Cup which will feature Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and China, at the start of next year. Philip Morris have sponsored the event since the inaugural tournament in 1990. Hong Kong and South Korea are both interested in hosting the tournament. Meanwhile, champions Eastern begin the defence of their First Division title against Instant-Dict at the Hong Kong Stadium tonight. Eastern, fresh from their midweek 6-1 thrashing of Brunei side Kota Rangers in the first leg, first round of the Asian Club Championships, are confident they can continue where they left off against the club most likely to be their biggest threat. Instant-Dict, League runners-up last season, yesterday announced monetary incentives in their quest for the title. Players are on a $2,100 win bonus for each game although important matches like tonight are worth double that figure. Ironically, Eastern striker Ian McParland faces his old teammates as he partners Dale Tempest up front. Instant-Dict's attack will be spearheaded by Graham Harvey and new boy Eddie Gallagher. Eastern will be without left-back Ricky Cheng, who has been sidelined with a hairline fracture in his ankle sustained in Wednesday's game against Kota Rangers. PROBABLE LINE-UPS Eastern (4-4-2): Iain Hesford: Chan Chi-keung, Lee Sai-cheong, Wong Kwok-on, Chiu Chun-ming; Lee Kin-wo, Lo Kai-wah, Tim O'Shea, Ross Greer; Dale Tempest, Ian McParland. Instant-Dict (4-4-2): Mick Leonard: Cheung Chi-tak, Roddy Manley, Leung Shing-kit, Nip Chak-hang; Chan Chi-kwong, Steve Berry, Yeung Kin-keung, Lam Hing-lun; Graham Harvey, Eddie Gallagher.