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North West 200: Sponsors could be out of the picture in £60 row

A stand-off between motorcycle race organisers and photographers covering the sport has taken a new twist with a leading local bikes sponsor coming out behind the snappers.

Adelaide Insurance Services, who currently sponsor a number of top motorcycling events on both sides of the border, are now reviewing their extensive financial commitment to the sport over the imposition of a £60 ‘licence’ for photographers covering racing events this season.

The fee, imposed by the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland governing body, has since been dropped in the Republic, following an uproar, but remains in force here.

Photographers have responded by calling on their media organisations to drop sponsors’ names and branding from bike racing coverage, claiming they are being forced to ‘pay to publicise racing’.

Adelaide’s marketing manager Nichola Pearce admitted: “We’d have to look at our sponsorship in the north in the event of any boycott. We understand that the problem has been resolved in the Republic.”

Adelaide-sponsored events that could suffer include the Enkalon Trophy Races over Easter, the Mondello Masters round at Bishopscourt on August 18 and the Kells Road Races in July.

Nichola added: “In return for the investment in sponsorship, we expect the promotion of Adelaide’s name through the publicity the events receive.

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“If we’re not going to get this, we have to question why we’d want to sponsor these events.”

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