Crabbie’s provide Grand National tonic
The drinks company have signed a three year deal to sponsor the race
Aintree’s search for a new sponsor for the Grand National is over with the news that Crabbies has signed a three-year deal. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Aintree’s search for a new sponsor for the Grand National is over with the news that Crabbies has signed a three-year deal which will see the race serve up one million pounds (€1,159,515) in prize money for the first time.
Since John Smith’s announced they would not be renewing their nine-year association with the race after the 2013 renewal, won by Auroras Encore, Aintree and its owner the Jockey Club have been searching for a new backer.
Crabbies has its own unique link to the race as it is part of Halwood International, a company founded by John Halewood who won the 2004 Grand National with the Ginger McCain-trained Amberleigh House. Halewood died in 2011.
Crabbies, who specialise in making alcoholic ginger beer, have sponsored races at a lower level for some time and also sponsor the Scottish football club Hibernian.
The new deal sees the Crabbies name attached to the three races run over the National fences; the Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase, the Crabbie’s Topham Chase and the Crabbie’s Grand National.
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.
“We’ve agreed a deal with a partner who shares our passion and vision for the Grand National, with the ambition to use it as a major promotional platform and, in the process, help us to reach new heights of popularity for our British sporting crown jewel.
“As a result the 2014 Crabbie’s Grand National will be the first in the race’s 167-year history to offer £1,000,000 (€1,159,515) in prize money as we continue to raise the quality of the field.
“You’ll struggle to find a brand with a closer affiliation to Aintree, the Grand National and Liverpool than Crabbie’s parent company, Halewood International, who owned the great Amberleigh House, trained by the legendary Ginger McCain. These are exciting times for all concerned.”
Peter Eaton, deputy chairman of Halewood International, said: “It has always been the family’s ambition to sponsor the Grand National and we are very excited to have this opportunity.
“With the joint partnership of Crabbie’s, Aintree and The Jockey Club, it’s our aim to take the Grand National to another level.
“The Grand National is a unique race with massive global reach and represents a perfect partnership for Crabbie’s and our UK and international ambitions.
“The brand is already enjoying considerable success in the USA, Canada and Australia and is the number one bottled ale in the UK and from a company and family perspective, we are delighted to renew our longstanding relationship with Aintree.”