British Gas has been unveiled as title sponsor of the Great Swim series. The deal gives BG title sponsorship of a series of four one mile open-water swims taking place this summer in London, Scotland, The Lake District and Suffolk.
Organisers expect 10,000 swimmers of all abilities to take part in the events which will be televised on Channel 4 in late September. The festival builds on last year’s debut Great Swim at Lake Windermere – which was an immediate hit with swimmers. After just one year in operation, it was voted as the fifth best open-water swim in the world.
The British Gas sponsorship is part of a broad strategic link with swimming. Recently, it pledged £15 million towards a six year partnership with governing body British Swimming. It has also set itself the target of getting 10,000 non-swimmers into a swimming pool within a year.
Commenting on the latest announcement, Rick Vlemmicks, director of marketing at British Gas, said: “At British Gas, we know that swimming is important to our customers as well as the nation. We are passionate about driving participation and believe swimming should be open to all, from World Champions to recreational swimmers to kids learning to swim in schools. Events like the Great Swim series will play an important role in supporting our Paddling Pool to Podium vision for swimming in Britain.”
The Great Swim Series is being organised by Brendan Foster’s Nova International, the company’s which also manages mass participation running programme the Great Run. In the last year, the company has branched out into different sports looking at new opportunities and new audiences.