Kevin Nolan won the battle of the traders as West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce and three of his players helped launch the club's new partnership with Alpari at the leading global forex broker's London offices on Tuesday.

Alpari will become the club's Principal Sponsor - with their name appearing on the famous claret and blue shirts - from the start of the 2012/13 season, and Nolan was competing against his manager, winger Matt Jarvis and midfielder Joe Cole in foreign exchange spread trading, with virtual money.

The four Hammers were taught and guided by Alpari on how to place trades. While it was not real money they were trading, it still gave them a taste of what trading the markets for real could be like.

Each player received £500,000 in virtual money to play with. Their task was to decide whether the prices of certain currencies (British pound, US dollar, Canadian dollar and the Japanese yen) were likely to rise or fall. On a real trade, there would be some intensive research, but as this was for fun, the players were encouraged to be creative.

Hammers skipper Nolan loved getting stuck into the challenge: "It was great fun," he said. "When you first look at it all on screen, there is just so much to take in, what would be the best deal. I was pleased to have won, just a shame it wasn't real money as could have treated everyone on that!

"I think the Gaffer and the boys, Jarvs and Joe enjoyed it too. It was certainly interesting to see what these guys do there on the trading floor, to get a taste of it all. It was a good event to kick off the new deal that Alpari have with our club and we hope for a good and successful partnership with them."

Nolan took the honours by recording a healthy profit of £4,457 on his virtual trading and as a prize, Alpari will donate £5,000 in Kevin's name to West Ham United's Academy, where the money will help young talents achieve more in football.

West Ham United launch