Aviva ends UK Athletics sponsorship after 13 years

LONDON Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:24pm BST

A man walks past an AVIVA logo outside the company's head office in the city of London March 5, 2009. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

A man walks past an AVIVA logo outside the company's head office in the city of London March 5, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Hird

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LONDON (Reuters) - Aviva will not renew its 13-year sponsorship of British athletics despite the sport's increased profile following the Olympic successes of Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, the insurer said on Wednesday.

The deal expires at the end of the year. UK Athletics has not named a replacement, but recent media reports suggested the sport was looking to increase its revenues by doing deals with a range of partners, rather than one exclusive sponsor.

The new agreement will be a test of the commercial appeal of sports like athletics on the back of a highly successful Olympics staged in London.

The current agreement was reported to be worth around 8 million pounds per year, although Aviva has not confirmed the figure.

Aviva said its funding for the sport from grassroots level onwards had helped to develop athletes like heptathlete Ennis and Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock, another gold medallist in London this year.

"The sponsorship has also enabled us to build awareness of the Aviva brand among the millions of sporting fans across the UK and we feel now is the right time to pass on the baton to another organisation," said Aviva's Chief Marketing Officer, Amanda Mackenzie.

Aviva, Britain's second largest insurer, also sponsors English rugby's Premiership and Premier League soccer club Norwich City.

($1 = 0.6251 British pounds)

(Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by Alison Wildey)

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