Diageo SA, formally known as brandhouse, and local distributor of J&B whiskey, has announced that it will no longer continue its sponsorship of the J&B™ Met.
For the past 39 years, the J&B brand has invested significant resources to ensure the staging of this prestigious horseracing event. Over time it has grown to become one of South Africa’s grandest social occasions and the country’s longest-standing sports sponsorship.
“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved with the J&B™ Met and the wonderful experience it has created over the years. We are certainly going to miss working with this exceptional annual event and team,” says Jeff Milliken, Managing Director of Diageo SA.
The 2016 J&B Met was the completion of a three year contract commitment to the event. In reviewing its strategy for the J&B brand, Diageo SA has made the decision to end the partnership and allocate resources to other brand initiatives. This has not been an easy decision but we feel that this is right for the brand.
The first Metropolitan mile was run in 1883, with J&B assuming sponsorship in 1977 when the event came to be known as the J&B™ Met. Since the first J&B™ Met, the event has attracted South Africans from all walks of life who come together to celebrate the best of fashion, music, food and horseracing.
“We would like to thank the Met for a lengthy and fruitful partnership spanning nearly four decades. We are grateful to have been a part of such an iconic event and are certain of its continued success, with an incredible team at the helm to take it forward,” says Milliken.
Kenilworth Racing Chairman Chris van Niekerk expressed much gratitude to Diageo SA for their valued support and loyalty over a lengthy period. “A 39 year sponsorship is a great achievement and as partners we had a tremendous Met journey. We wish Diageo SA much success with their new campaign.”
Head of Media Executive for Phumelela Gaming, Rob Scott said that whilst it’s sad to see the partnership come to an end, exciting opportunities are up for the taking. “We are in the process of closing a brand new deal and will announce our new sponsors of the Met in due course. The date of the running of the 2017 Cape Town Met will be announced at the same time.”