January 1 - British Athletics today announced Sainsbury's has signed a new four-year partnership agreement to extend its relationship with the governing body and its role as the main partner of the Major Event Series.
The new deal also sees the retail firm continuing its support of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Para-athletic team.
Under the agreement, Sainsbury's will sponsor the indoor and outdoor athletic seasons in Britain, which include five meetings, beginning with the Glasgow British Athletics International Match at the Emirates Arena later this month, and running through until the British Athletics Grand Prix in Birmingham in August.
Following on from the meeting in Glasgow on January 25, which will see teams from Scotland, Great Britain, the United States and a Commonwealth Invitation team taking part, the indoor season moves on to Sheffield on February 8 and 9 for the British Indoor Championships before the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham hosts the British Athletics Indoor Grand Prix a week later.
Birmingham's Alexander Stadium will also host the two outdoor events of the season beginning with the British Athletics Championships from June 27 until 29 before the Grand Prix on August 24.
Sainsbury's were a Tier One sponsor of the 2012 London Paralympic Games and last year replaced Aviva as headline sponsors of UK Athletics while also announcing a sponsorship deal which saw them back the 2013 Grand Prix and British Championships' events in Birmingham, as well as the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games which took place in the Olympic Stadium.
"Our involvement in the Paralympics Games and Sainsbury's Summer Series has clearly showed the power that sport has to unite and inspire budding athletes of all ages and abilities," said Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King.
"Our partnership with British Athletics and support for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Para-athletic team is a natural way of building on our commitment to profile disability sport and encourage more active lifestyles - and perhaps we're helping launch the stars of the future through the British Athletics talent and sport introduction days."
The retailer has committed to long-term support for the British Athletics Paralympic programme and through its "Parallel Success" initiative stars such as London 2012 gold medal winning sprinter Jonnie Peacock were discovered.
Sainsbury's has also launched initiatives such as its Active Kids and Active Kids for All schemes, as well as sponsoring the Sainsbury's School Games, which they claim is their commitment to supporting and inspiring future generations to lead healthier, more active lifestyles.
"Working with Sainsbury's last year enabled us to stage the first ever IPC Grand Final and to create the world's most successful athletics event of 2013, the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games, selling 180,000 tickets in 75 minutes," said British Athletics chief eecutive Niels de Vos.
"We are delighted and excited that Sainsbury's will be our long term Major Event partner, bringing their retail and marketing expertise to the promotion of athletics, the British team, and grass roots Para-athletics.
"Sainsbury's are the fourth core partner to join British Athletics alongside BBC, Nike and The National Lottery, demonstrating the continued appeal of athletics within the UK sponsorship market."
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