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Athletics - 06. June 2007.

SPAR International extends European Athletics Sponsorship until 2011

SPAR International has been the principal sponsor of European Athletics since 1996.

The new contract will commence on January 1 2008 and runs until the end of 2011, incorporating the following European Athletics events:

- European Athletics Championships 2010.
- European Athletics Indoor Championships 2009 and 2011.
- SPAR European Cup annually.
- SPAR European Cross Country Championships annually.
- European Athletics Indoor Cup 2008 and 2010.

Hansjörg Wirz, President of European Athletics, said, "We are delighted that SPAR will continue as our main partner. We have enjoyed a very co-operative and mutually beneficial relationship with SPAR for more than 11 years and the company's continued support will help us realise our ambitious plans to restructure our competition programme and increase participation in the sport."

Dr. Gordon Campbell, SPAR International Managing Director, speaking at the 52nd SPAR International Congress in Amsterdam in May, said:

"The European Athletics Championship events deliver a very cost effective, high level of brand exposure. It associates the SPAR brand with energetic, healthy and high achieving young people.  It enables SPAR to build on the sponsorship with support for national and local athletics events. We look forward especially to the next championships in Barcelona in 2010 and all of the events in the European Athletics programme."

This sponsorship also included last year's European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, which were seen on television by nearly a billion people throughout the world, as well as the same event in Budapest (1998) and Munich (2002).

In addition, SPAR is the title sponsor of two annual events: the SPAR European Cup and the SPAR European Cross Country Championships.

Christian Milz, Director General of European Athletics welcomed the news saying:

"This announcement by SPAR to renew with us is a real boost at the start of the next four years of activities from 2008-2011. We have ambitious plans for the future regarding the two pillars of European Athletics, both on the major events side and the education, youth, development and mass participation side. We also believe we add significant value to our partners and I look forward to helping SPAR achieve their goals, through athletics, for the next four years."

Dr. Campbell added "European Athletics events play a major role in building the SPAR brand worldwide. The spectacular success of last summer's European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg was a key factor in our decision to continue through to 2011."

For further information contact Christian Milz on +41 21 313 4350

About European Athletics:

European Athletics is the governing body for the sport of athletics in Europe and is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It has 50 member federations and runs a comprehensive championship programme which is watched by millions of people annually.

About SPAR International:

SPAR is the world's largest voluntary retail food store chain with 13,700 stores and retail sales of ? 27 billion in 2006. SPAR is also the most international retailer, operating in 33 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

SPAR is an organisation of independent retailers and wholesalers working together in partnership. This unique SPAR partnership allows SPAR to operate locally and offer customers a personal service supported by all the benefits of global business. This is most clearly seen in the continuing exchange of expertise and know-how which is one of the strengths of SPAR.

Source: European Athletics

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