Aug 28 2013

Crabbie’s serves up first £1 million Grand National

Major new title sponsor unveiled for British sporting crown jewel

Crabbie’s, the UK’s number one selling Alcoholic Ginger Beer, was unveiled today as the new official title sponsor of the Grand National and Grand National Festival at Aintree. The three-year deal between Crabbie’s and Aintree will see the world’s most famous steeplechase run for a £1 million purse for the first time.

The Crabbie’s Grand National is one of the crown jewel events in British sport and provides Crabbie’s with a platform to reach a UK terrestrial television audience of around 9 million on Channel 4 and an estimated 600 million people worldwide, as well as more than 150,000 people over the three days of the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival from Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th April 2014.

The partnership renews Crabbie’s owner, Halewood International’s, longstanding relationship with Aintree and racing on a wider level. Halewood International’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 famous 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.

As part of the deal, Crabbie’s receives 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).

Halewood International’s deputy chairman Peter Eaton, 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.”

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 million in prize money.

“You’ll struggle to find a business with a closer affiliation to Aintree and the Grand National 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.”