The Aintree Grand National’s current sponsor Randox has agreed to extend its sponsorship deal for next five years.
The global healthcare company reached an agreement with The Jockey Club for a five-year extension to its sponsorship of the world’s greatest steeplechase, the Grand National, and the three-day Grand National Festival staged at Aintree Racecourse.
The new agreement will run from 2022-2026, following on from the existing five-year deal which runs until next year. This 10 year sponsorship will be the second-longest partnership in the history of the Grand National.
With around 9.5 million people tuning in each year in the UK through broadcast partners ITV, The Randox Grand National attracts one of the largest live TV audiences in sport.
As well as retaining headline naming rights for the three-day Grand National Festival, Randox will continue to sponsor all three races over the iconic Grand National fences; the Randox Foxhunters Chase on Liverpool’s NHS Day, the Randox Topham Chase on Ladies Day, and the iconic Randox Grand National on Grand National Day itself.
Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE, founder and managing director of Randox, said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with The Jockey Club’s team at Aintree and look forward to another successful five years when we are once again able to come together to celebrate the Randox Grand National.
“This terrible pandemic has increased understanding of the importance of diagnostics and testing across our society. As a company founded with the ultimate aim of saving lives, we will work hard to convert that better understanding into the improvement of people’s health in the future.”
As the largest healthcare diagnostics company from the UK and Ireland, Randox undertakes research, development, manufacture and distribution of innovative laboratory tests and analysers.
In early 2020 Randox recognised the threat from COVID-19 and, based on almost 40 years of diagnostic experience, quickly developed a test to accurately identify the virus.
In March 2020, the company was processing 150 COVID-19 tests a day, but through investment and the enormous effort of its staff, Randox has been able to boost its laboratory testing capacity to process 90,000 COVID-19 samples per day for the UK Government’s National COVID-19 Testing Programme, making it the most productive laboratory in the UK and Ireland, and amongst the largest in Europe. It anticipates this climbing to 100,000 daily tests.
The Grand National will now be known as the Randox Grand National from 2021 with ‘Health’ being removed from the name.
Dr FitzGerald added: “2020 has been a year of massive change and Randox has been at the forefront of countering the greatest pandemic to sweep these islands in 100 years. As a result, we are comfortable that our core company name is now synonymous with ‘health’ so are very happy to combine with Aintree to rebrand the world’s greatest steeplechase as, more succinctly, ‘the Randox Grand National’.”
“We are excited for this new era of our partnership, of horse racing, and of society – in which COVID has taught us to appreciate the important things in life – our friends, our family, and our health. We very much look forward to the next five years.”
Dickon White, North West regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses, who runs Aintree, said: “I am delighted that Randox has agreed to extend their sponsorship for the Grand National Festival for a further five years.
“It’s been a fantastic partnership over the past few years and we’ve been extremely impressed with their operation as well as their dedication to one of sports’ most iconic events.
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“At a time when we are facing massive challenges in British racing, it is a tremendous boost to The Jockey Club, and a huge endorsement to the Grand National itself, that a new multi-year deal has been agreed with Randox.
“The Randox Grand National continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to working closely with Dr FitzGerald and his talented and committed team in the coming years.”