John Smith’s, the Scottish & Newcastle-owned beer brand, is extending its headline sponsorship of the Grand National until 2010.
The brand signed up as a sponsor of the race, which is owned by Aintree Racecourse, two years ago (MW November 11, 2004). It took over from Martell Cognac, which pulled out of the sponsorship in 2003 after 11 years. S&N has the option to extend the deal for another three years, taking it to 2013.
This year, S&N used the sponsorship as part of a sales promotion running on 17 million cans of John Smith’s Extra Smooth and John Smith’s Original. The prizes included VIP trips to the race and over £1m worth of free bets.
Aintree is in the middle of a £30m redevelopment, the first phase of which was completed earlier this year, including the construction of a new parade ring, winner’s enclosure and media centre. A second phase of redevelopment, which will include the building of two new grandstands, is expected to be ready in time for next year’s race.
The Grand National was first run in 1839, and remains the biggest and most important race on the UK racing calendar.