An Irish healthcare company, Randox Health has been unveiled as the new five year sponsor of the Aintree Grand National, one of the biggest national sporting events in Britain and viewed each year by 600 million people in 140 countries around the world.
Based in Belfast the company was founded in 1982 by Dr Peter Fitzgerald who struck out on his own after working as a chemistry professor in Queens University Belfast.
The company now manufactures diagnostic healthcare tests that are used by 370 million people. They produce 12% of the world’s cholesterol tests and say that eight tests are carried out using Randox products every second of every day around the world.
That kind of scale is sufficient to justify what is estimated to be a €12 million overall investment in rebranding the Randox Health Grand National and its surrounding three day fixture.
The deal will come into force after next month’s final running under the Crabbies banner. In 2017 coverage of the race across the UK will move, along with all terrestrial television coverage of the sport from Channel 4 to ITV.
“The Randox Health team is extremely pleased to partner the world’s greatest race,” said Peter FitzGerald, speaking at the announcement of the deal, one of the largest ever by an Irish owned company.
“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.”
The company currently has clinics in Belfast and London and is intent on expanding the offer of personalised preventative healthcare programmes to individuals and companies. This move towards a direct consumer offering is the reason behind the deal as a number of new clinics are planned for this year and next, including in Dublin and Liverpool.
The deal will also see Randox Health become the official healthcare partner of the Jockey Club, which owns and operates Aintree as well as 14 other racecourses around Britain.
Randox has four global manufacturing bases in Crumlin, Dungloe in Donegal, Bangalore in India and Washington DC.
The Sponsorship Institute Insider will have a full interview with Dr Peter Fitzgerald in a future issue of the digital magazine. Click here to find out more.