|The Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) has landed a three-year sponsorship deal of the Greyhound Derby with Blue Square, the leading interactive bookmaker. The GRA has also announced an extended three-year television agreement with Sky Sports.|
The new agreements follow a strategic review of the sponsorship and sales process by GRA's sponsorship and television rights agency, RDA Communications, who also agreed the new deal with Sky Sports.
Blue Square's sponsorship of the Greyhound Derby, held every year at Wimbledon Stadium, is the first major sponsorship agreement secured by GRA since William Hill announced the end of its nine-year Derby sponsorship package.
Blue Square’s three-year title sponsorship rights of the Greyhound Derby will start in June 2007 along with and year-round branding rights at Wimbledon Stadium. Sky Sports will have the exclusive rights to televise the Derby live.
Clive Feltham, Managing Director, GRA, said, 'We are delighted to welcome Blue Square to the Greyhound Derby, the most important and prestigious race meeting in our calendar. I am confident that Blue Square will enjoy the benefits of sponsoring the Greyhound Derby and enhance its profile as a leading online bookmaker. We are also extremely please to have an enhanced and expanded agreement with Sky Sports which is good news for the GRA and greyhound racing in general.'
GRA's agreement with Sky Sports comes as part of an increased commitment by Sky to its ever-popular live greyhound racing coverage. Televised race meetings have shot up from 30 to 35 race meetings per year, plus the Irish Derby.