Markel strengthens its sporting connections
Markel International, the specialist insurer, has signed a two-year contract to be the title sponsor of the Castle Triathlon Series, a growing sporting franchise that organises triathlons at castles in the UK and overseas. The competitions will now be known as the Markel Castle Triathlon Series and the first event under the Markel banner will be held at Hever Castle on the weekend of 24/25 September 2011.
The summer series, which runs from June to September, was launched two years ago and there are currently three venues in the UK: Hever Castle, Castle Howard and Cholmondeley Castle. There is also an event in France, at Chateau de Chantilly, near Paris. The aim of the series is to add new events at locations in the UK and overseas that are in keeping with the Castle theme and include a lake for the swimming challenge.
The series covers a wide range of ages and abilities, from novices through to elite triathletes, and there will be over 5,000 participants this year. The number of competitors is expected to rise steeply in future years as triathlon has a huge following and is one of the world’s fastest growing sports.
Markel already has a wide range of sporting interests, notably in the racing world. It sponsors the jockeys William Buick and Sam Thomas, and has a growing involvement with Glorious Goodwood where it sponsors the Markel Maiden Fillies’ Stakes. This year it also sponsored the prestigious Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes. Other sporting connections include football, boxing, hockey and rugby. In addition, Markel is the part owner of All Sport, one the leading sports insurers in Canada.
William Stovin, chief operating officer of Markel, explained why triathlon is a natural fit with the company: “Our brand is built on a simple but powerful concept: ‘bold ideas, honest actions’. It’s a principle that resonates well with the triathlon spirit of bold effort and honest endeavour. We have been following the series with interest, particularly its potential for international growth, and are delighted to align ourselves with a sport that reflects our culture and values.”
Brian Adcock, race director and founder of the Markel Castle Triathlon Series, comments: “We welcome Markel as our title sponsor. The company has a passion for sport and a reputation for rigour and integrity - both qualities that we associate with triathlon. We’re excited about how Markel can help to promote and develop the series, which has already grown impressively since its launch just two years ago.”