UK Athletics given pre-Olympic boost by four-year deal
Spar, the world's largest food store chain, will sponsor UK Athletics (UKA) for the next four years, a period that will include the London Olympics in 2012.
Spar will continue its sponsorship of UKA's sprints programme until 2013. The programme, which Spar has sponsored since 2004, works to identify talented young athletes and provide the coaching to maximise their ability. Many of the UK's current crop of young sprinters, including Beijing medalist Craig Pickering, have come through the programme.
12 Spar Sprints Centres throughout the UK provide regular, focused training for youngsters by UKA qualified coaches, from a grassroots up to a national level. "The deal is a further illustration of the strong position the sport finds itself in as it builds for the London Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 and beyond," said UKA chief executive, Niels de Vos. "The Spar UK deal secures another major part of the commercial legacy for the sport beyond 2012, and I am delighted that such a strong brand is to continue its successful association with UKA."
Adam Margolin, Spar UK marketing controller, said: "Here at Spar UK we view athletics as the premier Olympic sport so we are delighted to be in a position to announce our continuing partnership with UKA. Our sponsorship is not an add-on to our marketing or advertising campaigns it is an integral part of building relationships with customers. We view it as critical component to develop Spar's vision and values which are rooted in the community, delivering at a local level making the places we live better places. This partnership will now cover a significant four year period for the sport up until 2013. Over the past four years we have worked hard building a strong heritage within athletics and would like to build on this with UKA to help Spar UK drive footfall, basket spend and loyalty."
Martyn Rooney, who was a finalist in the 400m in Beijing, said: "I benefited from the Spar Sprints Initiative when I was progressing as a young athlete. This support really can and does help younger athletes to progress. Getting invited to take part in the training sessions was a real privilege."
- Length of contract: 4 years
- Annualised value: US$200,000
- Overall value: US$800,000