Randox Health to sponsor Grand National
Northern Ireland healthcare firm Randox Health is to sponsor the Grand National.
The Co Antrim-based company will sponsor the three-day festival and showpiece race at Aintree from next year in its 170th year.
Randox Health is a world leader in healthcare diagnostics with more than 370million people using its products.
It was founded Founded in Crumlin in 1982 by leading medical scientist and keen horseman, Dr Peter FitzGerald.
The company currently employs more than 1,400 people of 44 different nationalities.
With around 9m people tuning in each year in the UK, the £1m Grand National currently attracts one of the largest live TV audiences in sport and Channel 4’s largest audience of the year.
From 2017, the first year with new partner Randox Health, the race will be broadcast on ITV.
Worldwide the event attracts an estimated television audience of around 600m.
Randox Health also becomes the Official Healthcare Partner of The Jockey Club which runs many of the sport's most prestigious events such as the Cheltenham Festival.
Randox replaces current sponsor, the drinks firm Crabbies.
Dr FitzGerald said: "The Randox Health team is extremely pleased to partner the world’s greatest race.
"The Grand National offers us a major public platform to raise awareness of preventative healthcare and to encourage people to take control of their health and wellbeing.
"We see this partnership as a natural fit, as both organisations invest heavily in the future and we aim to use our partnership to promote a positive lifestyle and to bring enjoyment to millions of people. We care about people’s health and this is the people’s race.
“Crabbie’s sponsorship of the Grand National will be a hard act to follow, but we look forward to rising to the challenge and sharing our vision for Randox Health further once the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National has drawn to a close and our rights for the world’s greatest race come into effect.”
John Baker, north west regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses, who runs Aintree, said: “I am delighted to welcome Randox Health as our new partner from after the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National Festival.
"This is an incredibly exciting time to join forces with Randox because they are highly ambitious as a company and share our aspiration to promote the Grand National to the maximum number of people in the years ahead.
"We are already working closely with Randox Health and are excited both about their plans for the future and how they see the role of our partnership within that. Their vision, people and operation are very impressive, they love their racing and I am confident they will prove fantastic partners for our crown jewel.
“I should also like to thank Crabbie’s brand owner, Halewood International, and in particular Judy Halewood and Peter Eaton, for their very generous and beneficial support of the Crabbie’s Grand National these past three years. I am very pleased they will remain involved and associated with Aintree through sponsorship of the high value Grade 1 Top Novices’ Hurdle and of course before that the important 169th running of the world’s greatest steeplechase in April under their banner.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital