Crabbie’s serves up first £1 million Grand National

28th August 2013

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. 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 at Aintree Racecourse 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 the longstanding relationship of Crabbie’s owner, Halewood International, 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).

Crabbie’s also gains sponsorship category exclusivity for ginger beer and cider products for the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival for the duration of the contract, which initially runs through until the completion of the 2016 event. The Crabbie's product range is already sold at Aintree and the 14 other tracks within Jockey Club Racecourses, the UK's largest racecourse group, which welcomes circa 1.8 million people just to its racing events.

The new agreement is set to become one of the cornerstones of the marketing programme for Crabbie’s both in the UK and internationally and brand owner Halewood is developing a major support programme to underpin the sponsorship. It is the latest in a series of high-profile marketing campaigns for the Crabbie’s brand and sponsorship programmes to date include The National Television Awards, the British Comedy Awards, The Scottish Open and Edinburgh’s Hibernian FC.

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.”

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 brand with a closer affiliation to Aintree and 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."

Commenting on the 2014 Crabbie’s Grand National being run for a total prize fund of £1 million for the first time, Andrew Tulloch, Clerk of the Course at Aintree and North West Regional Head of Racing for Jockey Club Racecourses, said:

“The Crabbie's Grand National is the race that stops the nation. Making careful and considered increases in prize money over time has been one of the key components in raising the quality of runners in the race.

“As well as the first £1 million Crabbie’s Grand National, we are also very happy to offer horsemen significant prize money across the three day festival. This was £2.75 million in 2013 and we will announce 2014 levels in due course.”