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UB walks out: End of an era in Indian Derby - By Shailendra Awasthi I TOI

Posted on - 15 Oct 2015

UB walks out: End of an era in Indian Derby
By Shailendra Awasthi
One of the longest alliances in the history of Indian sport has ended. Vijay Mallya's The United Breweries Group, which has been sponsoring the McDowell Indian Derby since 1985, has decided to withdraw it.
“They have indicated that they wish to withdraw their sponsorship of the Indian Derby with immediate effect,“ Vivek Jain, former chairman and current marketing chief of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), which organizes the Indian Derby , told TOI on Wednesday .
“They have no right to terminate it legally. I am going to Bangalore tomorrow to meet their MD to try and resolve the issue amicably”, Jain added.
“Our senior counsel has told us that an arbitrary termination would be illegal. But in view of our long standing relationship with the company, we would rather try and reach a settlement than enter into a legal dispute”, Jain stressed.
In January 2011, the United Breweries Group, headed by Vijay Mallya, had signed an agreement with RWITC to sponsor the Indian Derby for a record sum of Rs 28 crore for a five year cycle starting 2013. There are still two years left for that contract. A great fan of racing, Mallya had changed the face of the sport when he decided that McDowell will sponsor the Indian Derby in 1985. But with Mallya struggling to retain control of the UB group after UK-based liquor giant Diageo had bought 55 % stake in company, the decision to stay away from sponsoring the Indian Derby doesn't come as a surprise.

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