The Grand National has a new sponsor for 2014 — Crabbie’s.
The alcoholic ginger beer brand, has signed up to sponsor the race for the next 3 years. And the total prize fund for the race in 2014 will be raised to £1m for the first time.
There is a deeper connection between the famous race and the brand, too. Crabbie’s is owned by Halewood International, which was founded by the late John Halewood — owner of 2004 winner Amberleigh House.
John’s partner and now chairwoman of Halewood International, Judy Halewood is also the only female trainer to have bred, owned and trained a runner in the race, with her horse Harley finishing 12th in 1991.
“It has always been the family’s ambition to sponsor the Grand National and we are very excited to have this opportunity,” said Peter Eaton, deputy chairman of Halewood International.
Around 9m racing fans watch the Grand National on Channel 4, while a further 600m view around the world. Attendance at the Aintree course reaches 150,000 over the three days.
John Baker of Jockey Club Racecourses added:
“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 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.”
The Crabbie’s Grand National Festival will run Thursday 3 to Saturday 5 April 2014.