The Arena Racing Company (ARC), the largest racecourse group in Britain, has joined forces with HEINEKEN – the UK’s leading cider & beer business and the name behind the nation’s favourite ale brand John Smith’s. The four year deal will see HEINEKEN provide the 15 ARC courses with a range of draught and packaged beers and cider including Heineken®, Foster’s, Amstel, John Smith’s Extra Smooth, Strongbow and Bulmers.
With a national spread of courses ranging from Newcastle to Brighton, the deal will secure continued sponsorship of the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate, the John Smith’s Brighton Mile and the John Smith’s Summer Cup at Uttoxeter. These days provide a fantastic racing experience for consumers, with attendances at the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate Meeting in being one of the largest in the ARC group. The ARC courses, spread throughout the country are set to stage 577 race meetings during 2013, as well as many non-racing events and activities.
HEINEKEN had previously enjoyed a close relationship with Northern Racing and was keen to maintain its long and productive relationship with the sport through the John Smith’s brand. The new partnership with the enlarged ARC group, formed in 2012 following the merger between Arena Leisure and Northern Racing, will see a significant increase in HEINEKEN’s brand distribution within racing – coming to a number of new courses for the first time.
Simon Lane, Operations Director at ARC expressed his delight at the new partnership saying, “We are really pleased to announce this renewed partnership with Heineken whom we have worked closely with for some time. Their renowned brands are extremely familiar and popular across UK racecourses. We are delighted John Smith’s are set to continue their sponsorship of the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle Racecourse, where prize money will increase by 8% this year, with the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate day being worth over £270,000, as well as supporting other key hospitality events around the ARC group”.
Richard Bradbury, Trading Director for HEINEKEN added - “I am delighted that we have secured this deal with the ARC group and that we will be able to further build on the great race days that we have established over the years. We share ARC’s desire to make a day at the races a memorable occasion, and that means premium brands, great service and a dedication to quality. We will be working hard to help deliver those standards across all ARC courses and to further establish John Smith’s as the beer of racing.”
HEINEKEN, through the John Smith’s brand, is one of racing’s oldest sponsors and has shown a commitment to the sport for many decades. As the most commercially focused business in British Racing, ARC is committed to providing the best possible experience for all of its customer groups, sponsors and stakeholders and the group is particular proud to be working with HEINEKEN and the unparalleled brand range it can offer its customers.
The mutually beneficial four year partnership will also give HEINEKEN high levels of brand exposure both on course and via the media, notably the growing TV audience across Europe via Sky At The Races Channel 415 which covers every fixture as well as the key meetings terrestrial coverage on Channel 4 Racing.