MARCH 5 - THERE will be a record number of sponsors for the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Manchester next month after the announcement of another three today.
John Lewis, Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) and shopping Manchester Arndale are the latest to offer their backing to the Championships to be held in Manchester from April 9-13, 2008.
Other partners already announced are Kellogg's, Trafford Centre, Pure Group, Serco plc / Northern Rail, GMG Radio, MEN Media, Manchester Airport, United Utilities.
The five-day event will be the first World Swimming Championship of its kind to be staged in the UK and with over 130 different countries confirming their entry so far it will to be the biggest World Swimming Championships ever.
Two huge temporary pools will also be built in The Manchester Evening News Arena, which will be the first music and entertainment venue in the UK to host competitive swimming.
John Lewis has agreed to support the championships by providing clothing in the way of suits for the FINA officials and technical team involved in the World Swimming Championships.
The group will also be selling tickets for the championships from the customer services department at its Trafford Centre Store.
Mark Gifford, operations manager for John Lewis, said: "We are honoured to be supporting the FINA World Swimming Championships this year and look forward to what will undoubtedly be a fantastic event for the city of Manchester."
GMPTE will provide free travel on its Metrolink tram network for 2,000 staff, volunteers and athletes involved in the World Swimming Championships.
It will be an integral part of the transportation strategy for the event, helping to encourage the use of sustainable and environmentally friendly travel.
Michael Renshaw, GMPTE’s interim service delivery director, said: “We are pleased to be able to support the FINA World Swimming Championships.
"We hope that our involvement will help to highlight the efficiency and reliability of public transport in Greater Manchester and encourage more people to take the environmentally friendly option of leaving cars at home during the event."
Manchester Arndale has agreed to support the championships in many ways, including extensive advertising throughout the centre, the promotion of ticket sales and by hosting exclusive events in the run up to the Championships.
Glen Barkworth, general manager of Manchester Arndale said: “We are honoured to be supporting the FINA World Swimming Championships this year and look forward to what will undoubtedly be yet another fantastic event for the city of Manchester."
Head of public relations for the Championships, five times world short course champion James Hickman said: “It’s fantastic to have so many supporting partners on board at this stage.
"We are working with many of them already to ensure we deliver the best World Championships ever staged."
Marc Hope, director of rights marketing at Fast Track said: "We are thrilled to announce these three latest national partners.
"They will play a crucial role as well as use the event to showcase their services.
"This has been the most successful and record breaking Short Course Swimming Championships ever in terms of numbers of partners involved.
"We hope to announce more soon."