This Saturday the 8th April is the Grand National, and we can’t wait! To celebrate, we’ve had a look back over time to look at the sponsorship deals that have defined this quintessentially British institution.
Canadian distillery, Seagram, sponsored the Grand National way back in 1984, and remained the proud sponsor until 1991. The sponsorship helped secure the future of the Grand National by providing a solid foundation upon which the race could be run and managed by the Jockey Club.
Seagram’s UK chairman reportedly showed an interest in the Grand National after reading an article by former jockey, Lord Oaksey.
Fun fact: the final race that was sponsored by Seagram (1991) was won by a horse of the same name.
After eight successful years, Seagram handed its Grand National sponsorship to its ancillary, Martell, who sponsored the races for a further 13 years.
Fun fact: Martell’s final sponsorship deal with the Grand National was from 1999 until 2004, and was announced in 1997. The deal was worth £4.5 million, which at the time was the biggest deal in racing history!
During the nine years that John Smith’s sponsored the Grand National, the popularity of the races reached record highs, with more people than ever before tuning in to watch the races on TV and listen to it on the radio. The crowds flocked to Aintree in their masses to watch the Grand National, and the prize money increased to £975,000.
Fun fact: from 2006 to 2010, the John Smith’s People’s Race was active, which gave 10 members of the public the chance to ride on the Aintree Racecourse.
Image credit: Click Liverpool
Crabbie’s signed a three year sponsorship deal with the Grand National in 2014, the same year which saw the race run for a record prize pot of £1 million.
The relationship between Crabbies and the Grand National was a successful one, which ended in 2016 when Aintree found a new sponsor.
Little known firm Randox Health took over from Crabbies as the official sponsor of Aintree’s three day festival, with this year’s Grand National being the first to run under their sponsorship.
Fun fact: Randox Health is also the official healthcare partner of The Jockey Club, the organisers of Aintree Racecourse.
Here at Sports 360, we’re proud to work with many racecourses across the country. If you have a query about how we can help you get your brand name out there, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Contact a member of our friendly team for a discussion about how we can help you.
Main image credit: The FAB Awards