Prize money for the regular-season leaders of rugby league's Super League is being doubled for 2015.
The first winners of the league leaders' shield under this season's new structure, will receive £100,000.
"The clubs wanted to make sure it meant a little bit more than in the past," Super League general manager Blake Solly said.
"One way was to give the leaders automatic qualification for the World Club Series and the other was to double the prize money. They felt good form over a 30-week season deserves to be recognised."
The season starts on Thursday when Wigan, who were beaten 14-6 in the Grand Final in October, visit Widnes.
Warriors coach Shaun Wane believes this year's structure, where only the top four teams - rather than the top eight of previous seasons - can win the Grand Final, will lead to more intense encounters.
"This new competition is going to make the games a lot more exciting," he said. "The league leaders is a very important competition now so we can't afford any slip-ups."