Swedish Match has decided to end its association with the Swedish Match tour due to a new Swedish law that prohibits tobacco companies from sponsoring sports events
Swedish Match, the Stockholm conglomerate that for seven years has been a partner in the professional match-racing tour, is concluding its association with the Swedish Match Tour at the end of the year.
Swedish Match, a niche tobacco group, has decided to end its association due to a new Swedish law that prohibits tobacco companies from sponsoring sports events.
Bo Aulin, Senior Vice President of Swedish Match and Chairman of the Swedish Match Tour commented: “We’re disappointed by this turn of events. It’s not a shock because we knew it was coming. We knew it would come to some kind of restriction or ban, but we hoped it would be limited to trademarks, not corporate branding.”
Tour Director Scott MacLeod added: “It’s extremely unfortunate that we are losing such a great partner and supporter of the sport. We are currently seeking a new title sponsor for the Tour, but the series will continue either way next year. We have developed a very strong series of events and television package that will help carry the Tour forward.”
Swedish Match has been a sponsor of sailing events other than just the Swedish Match Tour. The company also sponsored an entry in the 1997-’98 Whitbread Round the World Race (now the Volvo Ocean Race) and were title sponsor of the Swedish Match Cup in Marstrand for 12 years.
The 50th event of the Swedish Match Tour – the Monsoon Cup in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia (29 November-4 December) will be the final event for Swedish Match as title sponsor of the Tour. After the Monsoon Cup the seventh Tour season continues next March with the Brazil Match Cup in Angra dos Reis, Brazil (14-19 March 2006).
After Brazil Tour stages include the ACI H1 Match Race Cup (Split, Croatia, 23-28 May, 2006), Match Race Germany (Langenargen, 1-5 June, 2006) and the Toscana Elba Cup – Trofeo Locman (Elba Island, 27 June-2 July, 2006) before concluding in Marstrand (4-9 July, 2006).