Heineken have just signed a new deal with Arena Racing Company (ARC). This sees racing benefit from ongoing sponsorship under the banner of their subsidiary John Smith and racegoers at the 15 courses run by ARC will be able to buy from the range of draught, bottled and tinned beers brewed by Heineken, including, Foster’s, Amstel, John Smith’s Extra Smooth, Strongbow and Bulmers as well as the eponymous brew. I hesitate to say whether that’s a benefit.
The four year deal will come into effect shortly, and will start shortly after this weekend’s Grand National. John Smith sponsors the race for the last time, but because it is not run at an ARC operated track, the deal will not begin until afterwards.
Highlight of the races that will continue to carry their name is the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle, and ARC operations director Simon Lane was quick to highlight this would contribute to an increase in prize money for the race. He said, “We’re pleased to announce this renewed partnership with Heineken, with whom we have worked closely. We’re delighted John Smiths are set to continue their sponsorship of the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle, where prize money will increase by eight per cent this year, with the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate day being worth over £270,000.”
ARC confirmed that John Smith would also continue to sponsor the Brighton Mile and the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter. The deal is good news for racing, with support for some important races settled for the next few years.
A statement from ARC said that the brewer would benefits from additional 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 (at their tracks) as well as the key meetings terrestrial coverage on Channel 4. Racing.