Energizer, the world’s leading dry cell battery and flashlight manufacturer, has today announced it will become the new title sponsor of the prestigious European indoor athletics series.

The four meeting Series, which features the showpiece of the British indoor season – the Norwich Union Indoor Grand Prix at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena – will now be known as the Energizer Euroseries.

Last season the Series, which is widely regarded as the focal point of the indoor season, attracted many of the world’s biggest stars with the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix arguably the highlight of the Series.

In total six Olympic champions crowned in Sydney – and a host of other medallists – were in action in Birmingham, as the NIA proved a key form guide to the Olympic Games. Energizer’s title sponsorship will add a further dimension to the Series with even more of the world’s finest athletes set to compete in Europe – and in Birmingham – this winter.

‘Energizer is delighted to become the sponsor of the Energizer EuroSeries which promises to be an exciting development in the athletics circuit,’ said Martin Burch, Brand Marketing Director of Energizer Europe. ‘ We look forward to seeing some of the world’s top athletes perform in Birmingham, home of the indoor athletics scene in the UK.’

‘We are absolutely delighted to welcome Energizer as our new partners,’ said Ulf Saletti, Co-ordinator of the Energizer EuroSeries. ‘I believe that together we can take the Series forward onto a new level as indoor athletics becomes more and more popular amongst the athletes and the public alike.’

In addition to Birmingham’s Norwich Union Indoor Grand Prix the Series will once again feature showpiece meetings in Stockholm, Gent and Lievin. As with the summer’s ‘Golden League’, athletes in selected events will gain points at each of the first three meetings, including Birmingham, which will qualify them for the final in Lievin. Athletes scoring the most points will be crowned Energizer EuroSeries winners. In a new feature for the year 2001 all Energizer EuroSeries prize money will be paid in Euros, as opposed to US dollars.

‘The sell out success of the Birmingham meeting has played a key part in raising the profile and status of the Series,’ said Jon Ridgeon, Director of Athletics at Fast Track.

‘The indoor season has become an increasingly recognised and important version of the sport in recent years,’ he added. ‘ This new investment from Energizer, combined with the continued support from Norwich Union, will help attract even more world class athletes to the NIA as the demand for all-year round athletics continues to grow.’

‘We are currently in discussion with a host of Olympic champions including several of Britain’s Olympic medallists,’ added Ian Stewart, former Olympic athlete and Athlete Co-ordinator at Fast Track.

Last winter the NIA staged arguably the finest indoor meeting anywhere in the world producing two new world records (from Kenyan turned Dane Wilson Kipketer over 1000m and Ethiopian Haylu Mekonnen over 2 miles), four world best performances and nine new stadium records. In total the NIA has now witnessed a remarkable seven world records since it opened in 1992 making it one of the most recognised indoor venues in the world.

The list of new Olympic champions in action in Birmingham last year included American Maurice Greene (100m); Cubans Anier Garcia (110m hurdles) and Ivan Pedroso (long jump); Russian Sergey Klyugin (high jump); Ethiopian Millon Wolde (5000m); Romanian Gabriela Szabo (5000m) and German Heike Drechsler (long jump).

The Norwich Union Indoor Grand Prix will take place on Sunday 18th February 2001 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

For further information please contact

Andy Kay or Nic Watson
Media Dept at Fast Track
Tel: 0207 245 0206
Fax: 0207 245 0203
Mobiles: 07710 170494, 07771 868732