Ginger-Beer Maker Crabbie's Enters Three-Year Sponsorship Deal With Grand National
Ginger-beer maker Crabbie's "has been named new sponsor of the Grand National and race festival for three years," according to the BBC. The deal will see the Aintree steeplechase run for a £1M ($1.5M) purse "for the first time." The £1M prize money compares with prize money of £550,000 ($853,545) for the 2013 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, "considered the most prestigious race" of the U.K. jump season. Next year's Grand National meeting will be held from April 3-5 (BBC, 8/28). In London, Chris Cook wrote the news "is enormously welcome for Aintree racecourse and its owners, the Jockey Club, who were both shocked last autumn when it emerged that John Smith's were dropping the race after a nine-year link." Crabbie's "has been a prolific sponsor of low-value horse races for the past four years, its name regularly appearing in race titles at Perth and Uttoxeter and occasionally at more than a dozen other tracks" (GUARDIAN, 8/27). MARKETING WEEK's Ronan Shields wrote the brand also "claims the sponsorship deal will provide it with a potential audience of 9 million" -- via the Grand National's TV broadcast deal with Channel 4 -- plus the 150,000 crowd expected to attend the three-day Crabbie's Grand National next year. As part of the deal, "the drinks firm now has naming rights for the three races over the Grand National meet." These include: "the Crabbie's Fox Hunters' Chase, the Crabbie's Topham Chase and the Crabbie's Grand National." The sponsorship deal also builds on Hale International's sponsorship of the Scottish Open with the Crabbie's brand receiving extensive coverage throughout the three-day event, "an opportunity it used to introduce new flavours, including raspberry, and strawberry and lime drinks" (MARKETING WEEK, 8/28).