Five more organisations have signed up to become sponsors of the 29th European Athletics Indoor Championships – with the total national sponsorship value for the Championships now standing at more than £183,000.

The University of Birmingham, Highland Spring, Hire Intelligence and Birmingham Post and Mail Limited, have become National Suppliers for the event, which will be staged at the National Indoor Arena from 2-4 March 2007. Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands has now become an official Public Institution for the Championships’.

The University of Birmingham, which has over 4,000 international students and was the first university to introduce a sporting option for all its students, will be hosting the Championship’s Opening VIP Dinner on Thursday 1st March. The dinner will be held at the University’s prestigious Great Hall. The University will also be supporting the Championship’s volunteer programme.

Hire Intelligence, a market leader in the short term rental of computer and audiovisual equipment, will install and network 80 personal computers and 150 LCD TV monitors. These monitors will be used by the media from across the continent who will be reporting on the Championships.

Highland Spring, the UK’s leading bottled water supplier and an exporter to 50 different countries, will be the official water for the Championships and their products will be quenching the thirst of not only the athletes competing in the event but also the hundred of volunteers who will be helping to ensure that the Championships runs smoothly.

The Birmingham Post, the West Midlands region’s premier business newspaper, and the Birmingham Mail, the City’s evening newspaper with seven local community focused editions, will be the official newspapers for the European Athletics Indoor Championships.

Through these titles the Birmingham Post and Mail Limited will not only be helping to promote the Championships to local people but they will also be keeping the Birmingham community fully up to date with all the results from the event.

Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands will be sponsoring the media centre, the media reception and the social visits programme for the European Athletics Indoor Championships, which is expected to attract hundreds of journalists and photographers from across the continent.

In a separate agreement Advantage West Midlands has also agreed to fund the replacement of the track surface at the National Indoor Arena, so the athletes competing at this event will have a brand new surface on which to compete. The £0.5 million funding will also pay for the installation of new seating for the media.

Denis Hurst is the Deputy Championships and Finance Director for the European Athletics Indoor Championships, which is currently the most significant athletics event to be staged in the UK before the 2012 Olympics, and is delighted that the Championships has attracted such significant sponsorship.

Hurst said: “The European Athletics Indoor Championships is an extremely prestigious event and we are delighted with the positive response to our sponsorship proposals. As Birmingham staged the World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2003 we have been able to provide excellent evidence of the opportunities and benefits which are available to sponsors of indoor athletics events.”

Fast Track is the official sponsorship agents for the Championships and is pleased that their quest for sponsors has been so successful. Marc Hope, Fast Track’s Rights Marketing Director said: “Athletics is one of the premier Olympic Sports so on the back of the IOC’s decision to award the 2012 Olympics to this country many companies are already looking to build their profile through athletics sponsorship in the run up to this event.”

Other sponsors already signed up for the European Athletics Indoor Championships, which is expected to attract around 600 athletes from nearly 50 countries, include Intersport and 100.7 Heart fm.

Anyone interested in hearing more about the flexible sponsorship packages available for this event should contact Marc Hope from Fast Track on 0207 5935 200 or e-mail mailtmarc.hope@fast-track-events.com. To find out more about the event log onto http://www.birminghamathletics2007.com/.
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For more information please contact Sarah Guest on 0121 464 2012 / 07766 924 280 or e-mail mailtsarah_guest@birmingham.gov.uk

Notes to Editors: 
· The European Athletics Indoor Championships will be the most prestigious athletics event staged in the UK since the announcement that London will host the 2012 Olympics

· It is expected to attract around 15,000 spectators over three days and  will have an estimated economic impact for Birmingham of more than £3 million

· The event will be organised by Birmingham City Council and UK Athletics on behalf of the European Athletic Association.

· UK Sport is part funding the Championships through their World Class Events Programme, which aims to secure events of strategic importance that deliver a range of lasting benefits. These include economic, social and cultural benefits as well as improving sporting performance by home athletes, encouraging participation and leaving a legacy of facilities and development initiatives. Over 100 sporting events have been staged in the UK through the Programme since 1997.