Vodafone Ends Epsom Derby Sponsorship After 13 Years

Edited release from Epsom Downs

Vodafone and Epsom Downs Racecourse announced Jan. 19 that the 2007 Vodafone Derby (Eng-I) will be the 13th and last occasion that Vodafone will sponsor the British classic.

Vodafone’s current contract with Epsom Downs expires after this year’s race, and following a review of its sponsorship portfolio the company has decided not to enter into negotiations for a further contract.
Simon Lewis, Vodafone’s group corporate affairs director, commented, “Every major sponsorship has a natural cycle for commercial partners and we believe that after thirteen very successful years the time is right to hand over to another partner for the Derby. A priority for us has been to give Epsom Downs the maximum amount of notice possible, given our long and mutually beneficial partnership. We will be working closely with the Epsom management to ensure a seamless transition to a new sponsor from 2008 onwards. The Derby is unique, and it has been a pleasure for everyone at Vodafone to have been involved with it.”

Stephen Wallis, managing director of Epsom Downs Racecourse, said, “Whilst we are sorry that Vodafone will not be continuing their sponsorship after this year, we totally understand their decision. We are very grateful for their support since 1995, during which time The Derby Festival has undergone some significant changes that have served to firmly re-establish its status as not only one of the great British sporting events but also one of the leading races in the world.  We shall now start discussions with other parties who have expressed interest to us over the last few years.”