By Claire West
Aviva has confirmed it will end its successful sponsorship of UK Athletics (UKA) at the close of 2012, when its current contract comes to an end.
Aviva's chief marketing officer, Amanda Mackenzie, said: "We will have had 13 great years with UK Athletics and it has been a fantastic partnership. The support we've given has helped athletes such as Jessica Ennis and Jonnie Peacock reach the very top of their sport, with stellar performances in London over the summer.
"The sponsorship has also enabled us to build awareness of the Aviva brand among the millions of sporting fans across the UK and we feel now is the right time to pass on the baton to another organisation. It will no doubt prove as successful for them as it has for us."
The partnership between Aviva and UKA is one of the longest and most successful sponsorships in UK sport, spanning all levels of athletics and involving millions of pounds of investment. Through this financial investment Aviva has helped pave the way for British athletes within a strong, focused and stable sporting organisation.
"We've had the privilege of standing alongside our GB & NI athletics team, and we've helped more than three million youngsters take their first steps into the sport at a grassroots level since 1999. We're confident athletics in the UK will continue to go from strength to strength," added Amanda.
UKA's chief executive, Niels de Vos, said: "Aviva has been a superb partner for UK Athletics for 13 years. Without their support over these past years, there is no doubt that athletics would not find itself in the robust good health that it does - as the country's number one Olympic and Paralympic sport with a vibrant commercial programme of televised events and activities from the school playground to elite preparation camps."