Crabbie’s has secured a three-year deal to become the new Official Title Sponsor of the Grand National and Grand National Festival at Aintree. The deal means that the world’s most famous steeplechase, now called the Crabbie’s Grand National, will run for a £1 million purse for the first time in its 167-year history. The Grand National was previously sponsored by John Smith’s, the Heineken-owned ale brand.
Crabbie’s will receive naming rights for the three races over the Grand National fences during the meeting: the Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase (Thursday, Grand Opening Day), the Crabbie’s Topham Chase (Friday, Ladies’ Day) and the Crabbie’s Grand National (Saturday, Grand National Day).
The deal is the latest in a series of high profile marketing campaigns for Halewood’s Crabbie’s brand and sponsorship programmes to date include Hibernian FC, Scottish Golf Open, Everton FC, West Bromwich Albion, The National Television Awards and the British Comedy Awards.
The partnership with one of the crown jewel events in British sport provides Crabbie’s with a platform to reach a UK terrestrial television audience of around 9 million on Channel 4. The race attracts an estimated 600 million people worldwide with more than 150,000 people over the three days of the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival from Thursday 3rdto Saturday 5th April 2014 and millions more will be reached throughmarketing around the sponsorship.
The deal, which initially runs through until the completion of the 2016 Grand National, sees Crabbie’s receive sponsorship category exclusivity for ginger beer and cider products for the Grand National Festival for the duration of the contract. The Crabbie’s product range is already sold at Aintree and the 14 other tracks within Jockey Club Racecourses, the UK’s largest racecourse group, which welcomes circa 1.8 million people just to its racing events.
The partnership renews the company’s longstanding relationship with Aintree and racing on a wider level. The company’s founder, the late John Halewood, owned the Ginger McCain-trained Amberleigh House, who won the 2004 Grand National and the 2001 Becher Chase. During his career, the top-class chaser competed 11 times over the Grand National fences.
John’s partner and now chairwoman of Halewood International, Judy Halewood is delighted with the sponsorship and that the family connection with the Grand National and racing continues to grow. In the event’s proud history, Judy is the only female trainer to have bred, owned and trained a runner with her horse Harley finishing 12th in the 1991 race.
John Baker, Regional Director of Aintree and the North West for Jockey Club Racecourses, said, “We’re thrilled to welcome Crabbie’s as the title sponsor of the world’s most famous steeplechase. Crabbie’s has shown itself to be one of the most exciting, fun and relevant brands in the UK.
“You’ll struggle to find a business with a closer affiliation to Aintree, the Grand National and Liverpool than Crabbie’s parent company, Halewood International, who owned the great Amberleigh House, by the legendary Ginger McCain. These are exciting times for all concerned.”