Supermarket Sainsbury to sponsor UK meetings

LONDON Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:49am BST

A Sainsbury's supermarket sign is seen in London January 11, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

A Sainsbury's supermarket sign is seen in London January 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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LONDON (Reuters) - British athletics received a welcome commercial boost on Monday when supermarket group Sainsbury signed up to sponsor three major meetings this summer.

The sport has been seeking new backers after insurer Aviva ended a 13-year sponsorship at the end of last year, walking away despite the exposure athletics enjoyed during the Olympics in London.

Sainsbury, Britain's third largest supermarket group, will also support British Athletics' Paralympic programme.

The agreement with Sainsbury covers elite Diamond League meetings in Birmingham and at the Olympic Stadium in London on the first anniversary of the Games, as well as the British championships.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is looking for a title sponsor for the Diamond League meetings after South Korean electronics company Samsung pulled out.

(Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by John O'Brien)

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