Britain’s Olympic double sculls gold medallist Katherine Grainger today launched the countdown to The BNY Mellon Boat Race 2013, the first to be sponsored by global financial services company BNY Mellon.
Grainger, who collected three silver medals before winning gold at London 2012, told a media conference: “Our goal is to build The BNY Mellon Boat Race into something even bigger than ever before.
“Today we are launching our sponsorship campaign which asks Which Blue Are You? Whether they went to Oxford or Cambridge, everyone can remember that moment when they picked Light Blue or Dark Blue. We believe we can engage more people in the UK and beyond, before, during and after the event.
“We’re asking celebrities, politicians, sporting heroes and members of the public, Which Blue Are You? Lord Sugar, David Cameron, Jessica Ennis – Which Blue Are You?!!”
As part of its innovative and inclusive approach to this sponsorship, BNY Mellon is already working towards parity in the Women’s Boat Race and the Men’s Boat Race in 2015. Both races will take place on the same day over the same famous Putney to Mortlake course.
Grainger added: “This is the way sponsorship can build an already great event into something even more engaging. Women’s sports are increasingly seen as an equal partner in the staging of global events. Bringing together the two Boat Races is a natural fit. And asking everyone Which Blue Are You? is very exciting. It will get the nation talking about and engaging in this year’s BNY Mellon Boat Race.”
BNY Mellon International Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs Jamie Brookes said: “We are proud to take on the sponsorship of this iconic sporting event and partner with two great universities. We intend to grow the Boat Race and make it as inclusive as possible, and are looking forward to 2015, when both the Men’s and the Women’s Races will be run on the same stretch of the Tideway.
“We have some great plans in place to get people involved this year. And we’re also looking at how our involvement can benefit the community. Our race day charity is Fairbridge, part of The Prince’s Trust, and we’re supporting London Youth Rowing and the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships. Employee volunteering will also play a key role throughout our sponsorship.”
Commenting on the Which Blue Are You? campaign, Oxford University Boat Club President Alex Davidson said: “BNY Mellon is hard at work trying to increase interest in this year’s Boat Race and make it an even bigger event. The Which Blue Are You? campaign is a fantastic way to get everyone involved. Clearly, we want as many people as possible supporting Oxford!”
Cambridge Univeristy Boat Club President and Olympic medallist George Nash added: “It is great to have BNY Mellon backing both crews. On behalf of the Cambridge crew I welcome them as our new sponsor. The Which Blue Are You? question has only one answer that makes sense. I encourage everyone to get on board the Light Blue team!”
BNY Mellon is the new Title Partner of The Boat Race. The financial services firm, a global leader in investment management and investment services, announced the five year agreement last year, with the 2013 Race formally titled as The BNY Mellon Boat Race. At the same time, Newton, a BNY Mellon company and one of the UK’s leading investment firms, will continue its sponsorship of the openweight Women’s Boat Clubs in a joint initiative that will bring the Newton Women’s Boat Race to the Thames in 2015 to race on the same day and the same course as The Boat Race.