Relentless NW200 PT1

Relentless NW200
PART 1 Organisers of the International North West 200 – Ireland’s largest outdoor sporting event – have announced a new title and associate sponsor for 2010. Relentless energy drink is the new title sponsor for the event with Black Horse announced as the new associate sponsor of the International North West 200. Saturday 15th May will be the date for the 2010 Relentless International North West 200 in association with Black Horse. A full week of events is currently in planning for Race Week which last year attracted crowds in excess of 150,000 people as well as some of the world’s top riders.Welcoming the new and associate sponsors and looking forward to this year’s Relentless International North West 200 in association with Black Horse, Race Director Mervyn Whyte MBE said, “The Relentless brand very much captures the spirit of the sport and we are delighted to welcome Relentless to the International North West 200. For many years, Black Horse has provided valuable sponsorship support to the North West 200 and I warmly welcome them onboard as this year’s associate sponsor.“Each year, the North West 200 team works hard to ensure an even bigger and better event for riders and spectators alike. With a new title sponsor, refreshed brand and already strong line-up of competitors, we hope the 2010 Relentless International North West 200 in association with Black Horse will be a year to remember”, said Mervyn Whyte. Riders including Steve Plater, John McGuinness, Alastair Seeley, Bruce Anstey, Ian Lougher, Michael Dunlop, William Dunlop and Michael Rutter were in attendance at the launch, held in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, to hear plans for 2010. Sports Minister Nelson McCausland wished organisers well. He said, “We have a rich motorcycling heritage in Northern Ireland, and the International North West 200 is a key part of our sporting calendar. This racing event is renowned as a world-class circuit for road racing which is loved by both riders and spectators. In 2009, it saw more than 150,000 bike fans from across the UK, Europe and beyond come to Northern Ireland. Over the years it has become known for exciting and exhilarating races, as the best riders compete over one of the fastest road circuits in the world. It also showcases Northern Ireland as a tourist destination which can host world-class sporting events. I wish the organisers all the best for the North West 200 in 2010.”Maire Campbell of Relentless said, “On behalf of Relentless energy drink we are proud to be title sponsor of Ireland’s most prestigious motor racing event; the Relentless International North West 200. As a local company, we have been supporting sports in the community for the past 70 years and there is none more prestigious and well renowned than the North West 200. The North West 200 certainly represents an outstanding example of a superb community event.“The North West 200 brings so much to Northern Ireland not only attracting the highest calibre of sporting personalities which includes our own Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing team, it also attracts tourism and boosts the local economy, giving Northern Ireland international exposure.” Dave Macey, Market and Franchise Development Manager of Black Horse, said, “Black Horse has been a race sponsor of the International North West 200 since 2002. Each year has seen the event grow from strength to strength and we are delighted to now be associate sponsor of this very special road racing event.” A new North West 200 logo, designed by Pierce Communications and incorporating the Relentless and Black Horse brands, was also unveiled at the launch event. Redback Creations have designed the official North West 200 website which, to date, has achieved over 25 million hits. For the 2010 event, the website will feature information on how to create the best ‘NW200 Experience’, ranging from accommodation information, vantage points on Race Day to details on official merchandise. Mervyn Whyte MBE said, “The North West 200 team receives so much valuable support from a wide range of organisations and companies. We are deeply grateful for the help from a wide range of organisations including DCAL, Coleraine Borough Council, Sport NI, 2&4 Wheel MSG, NITB and Tourism Ireland as well as our title, associate and race sponsors.“While we very much look forward to working with Relentless and Black Horse, we are deeply grateful to the Kennedy Group for their financial sponsorship and support over the years. Alistair and Adele Kennedy, in particular, have played a key role in making the North West 200 the truly international event it now is and the company continues to provide Coleraine & District Motor Club with in-kind support. The expertise of David Curry of Redback Creations and Robin Titterington of Event is also greatly appreciated”, said Mervyn. Changes to the North West 200 Following the committee’s decision to withdraw the 250cc Race from this year’s schedule, the new format is 600 Supersport Race 1, Superbike Race 1, 125cc Race, Superstock Race, North West 200 Superbike Race and 600 Supersport Race 2. Apart from the 125cc race, all races will run under the FIM technical rules. An additional 1,500 grandstand seats will be added to this year’s event bringing the total to 6,000 approx. The grandstand at the start line will be extended with 800 seats, Juniper grandstand with an extra 400 seats and 300 seats will be added to the paddock area grandstand. In partnership with DCAL, Coleraine Borough Council and NITB, a new organisational structure has been introduced for the North West 200. Co-ordinated by Race Director Mervyn Whyte, the structure now consists of seven managers, each responsible for various aspects of the event. Mervyn Whyte will have overall responsibility for the running of the event. Media partner BBC Northern Ireland continues as the official media partner for this year’s event. Once again, the BBC will give extensive coverage to the North West 200 across all three platforms; on-line, television and radio. Shane Glynn, Editor Sport, BBC Northern Ireland said: “This is the first year of our new five year contract to cover the North West 200. We’ve established a very strong, collaborative working relationship with Mervyn Whyte and his team from the Coleraine club, and we’ll be using that to help us build on the success of our output up to now, and to provide bike fans with the best possible coverage of the North West, online, and on TV and radio.”Mervyn Whyte said, “It is a pleasure working with BBC Northern Ireland and the whole team should be congratulated on the outstanding on-line, TV and radio coverage that they give to the North West 200. We very much look forward to working with Mike Edgar, Shane Glynn and the team in the coming months and years.” Coleraine Borough Council Plans are well underway for a full schedule of events during Race Week. Mervyn Whyte paid tribute to Coleraine Borough Council, which continues to provide valuable support to the event. The Council have further supported Coleraine & District Motor Club by appointing Paul Gallagher as event co-ordinator to the North West 200 office over the coming months. Paul, who specialises in event organisation, will provide support to the North West team. Speaking at the launch, Mayor of Coleraine, Cllr Sandy Gilkinson, said; “This fabulous event is not only one of the highlights of the road-racing calendar, it is also one of the largest and most popular annual sporting events in Ireland. Each year this spectacular event grows in stature and entices thousands of spectators to the North Coast. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities and attractions, fantastic beaches, great bistros and restaurants, specialist shopping and a packed programme of top class events for all ages to enjoy, complemented by some of Ireland’s most beautiful countryside and dramatic coastline.The promotional and economic benefit the North West 200 brings to the Borough area, and to Northern Ireland, is very significant. Council is pleased to host the North West 200 in the Borough and to continue to support the event as it has done over many years.“As Mayor of Coleraine, may I personally welcome new sponsors Relentless and Black Horse to the North West 200 fraternity. I look forward to the event, to working with the Coleraine & District Motor Club, and to welcoming competitors and visitors to the North Coast in May.”North West 200 Supporters Club Laurits Mackness and Ina McColm will once again co-ordinate the North West 200 Supporters Club. Last year, the Supporters Club raised £26,000 for the North West 200. Laurits and Ina have been raising money for the event for 33 years and 30 years respectively. Mervyn Whyte thanked the Supporters Club for their hard work and valuable support. DCAL Funding & CampaignsFurther to successful applications for funding in 2009 under the Major Event Growth Fund, Laura McManus, NW200 Business Development Manager, launched two campaigns – ‘Stay A While’ and ‘We Want You’.The ‘Stay A While’ campaign launched successfully in April 2009 and will continue for the 2010 event. The tourism initiative was designed to encourage visitors to stay and explore Northern Ireland after the event, by designing ten routes for visitors. For 2010, the NW200 team have taken the concept a step further and look forward to launching new routes for the May event.The ‘We Want You’ campaign was initiated to encourage interest in volunteering at the NW200. Working closely with the Volunteer Agency, the NW200 team launched the recruitment campaign and to date have received a high level of interest from individuals who will all be invited to volunteer assessment days in February.