Crabbiers Grand NationalThe alcoholic ginger beer producer, Crabbie’s, was unveiled today as the new sponsor of the Grand National and Grand National Festival. A three-year deal between Crabbie’s and Aintree has been agreed with prize money for what is claimed to be the world’s most famous steeplechase run hitting £1 million for the first time.

Crabbie’s is owned by Liverpool-based Halewood International which has had a long association with Aintree and with horse racing itself.  Halewood’s founder, the late John Halewood, owned the Ginger McCain-trained Amberleigh House, which won the 2004 Grand National and the 2001 Becher Chase.

The 2014 Crabbie’s Grand National Festival will run from Thursday 3 April to Saturday 5 April.

The TV audience for the race is expected to be around nine million on Channel 4 and an estimated 600 million people worldwide.

As part of the deal, Crabbie’s also receives naming rights for the three races over the Grand National fences during the meeting: the Crabbie’s Fox Hunters’ Chase (Thursday, Grand Opening Day), the Crabbie’s Topham Chase (Friday, Ladies’ Day) and the Crabbie’s Grand National (Saturday, Grand National Day).

The company will also have exclusivity for ginger beer and cider products for the duration of the contract until the completion of the 2016 event.

This latest sponsorship deal follows other recent Crabbie sponsorship deals including The National Television Awards, the British Comedy Awards and the Scottish Open.

Peter Eaton, deputy chairman of Halewood International, said: “It has always been the family’s ambition to sponsor the Grand National and we are very excited to have this opportunity.  With the joint partnership of Crabbie’s, Aintree and The Jockey Club, it’s our aim to take the Grand National to another level.

“The Grand National is a unique race with massive global reach and represents a perfect partnership for Crabbie’s and our UK and international ambitions. The brand is already enjoying considerable success in the USA, Canada and Australia and is the number one bottled ale in the UK and from a company and family perspective, we are delighted to renew our long-standing relationship with Aintree.”