BT continues as title sponsor of the BT Great CityGames Manchester as the event sees more Paralympic sport included in 2014

Olympic and Paralympic champions will compete in the city centre on Saturday 17th May 
BT has demonstrated its commitment to creating high-profile competitive opportunities for Paralympic athletes by today announcing that it will continue its title sponsorship of the BT Great CityGames Manchester. 

The event, now in its sixth year, is one of Manchester’s major summer sporting events and will be held on Saturday 17th May 2014. 

BT’s involvement will help to create the opportunity for Paralympic champions to complete alongside Olympic heroes in the city centre - and this year’s event will see an increased number of events for Paralympians to showcase their abilities. 

British London 2012 Olympic long-jump champion Greg Rutherford - and American Richard Browne, London 2012 Paralympic Silver medallist in the Men’s 100m - have today confirmed their attendance at the BT Great CityGames Manchester, with other athletes to be announced in the coming weeks. 

A crowd of 20,000 people is expected to gather on Deansgate in Manchester to see some of the world’s greatest athletes compete on a purpose-built, IAAF-certified track. In addition, field events will take place on Albert Square in front of Manchester Town Hall. The unique format allows spectators to experience all the action for free. 

Suzi Williams, Director BT Group Marketing and Brand, said, “We are delighted to continue our support for the BT Great CityGames Manchester. The event is a fantastic opportunity for people to get up-close and personal to the world’s Olympic and Paralympic champions. We’re especially pleased that this year’s event will showcase an increased number of elite disability events, building on BT’s role at the heart of the Paralympic movement.” 

Brendan Foster, chairman of Nova International, said, “The public appetite to see Paralympians is increasing every year. Jonnie Peacock was one of the stars of the BT Great CityGames Manchester last year and we look forward to welcoming some of the world’s greatest Olympic and Paralympic athletes to Manchester. BT’s involvement with the event shows their commitment to create fun, free and accessible opportunities for the British public to cheer on our athletes.” 

The event is completely free to spectate and no tickets are required, for further information see www.greatcitygames.org 

As well as supporting the BT Great CityGames in Manchester this May, BT is also a major partner of the International Festival for Business 2014 in Liverpool and Manchester, which is staged in June and July. Both events are part of BT’s commitment to the North West. 

Notes to editors: 
Taking place at a purpose-built athletics arena in Manchester’s Deansgate and Albert Square, BT Great CityGames Manchester is a unique opportunity to see top athletes compete in the heart of the city centre. It is completely free to spectate. 

The event is part of a great weekend of sport in Manchester including the Bupa Great Manchester Run and the Bupa Mini and Junior Great Manchester Run. 

The BT Great CityGames Manchester is created and staged by Nova International in partnership with Manchester City Council. The event is sponsored by BT. 

BT and sport 
BT was the official communications services partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. BT backed London’s initial bid in 2004, while its support for the British Paralympic Association (BPA) dates back to 1989 when BT became the BPA’s first commercial partner. BT was the first London 2012 partner to extend its support for the British Paralympic team to 2016. 
In addition to being the title partner of the BT Great CityGames Manchester, BT is also the headline partner of the sport industry’s flagship recognition event – the BT Sport Industry Awards. 

In August 2013, BT launched BT Sport. BT Sport is the UK's newest sports TV service, with three channels showing a host of sport, including live top tier action from the Barclays Premier League, with 38 exclusively live matches, of which 18 are “top picks”. The channels will also show live FA Cup with Budweiser matches for the next five seasons, UEFA Europa League, top tier football from Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Australia and the USA, live coverage of the Scottish Premiership, plus action from the FA Women’s Super League and 30 live matches from the Football Conference. 

From 2015/16 BT Sport will be the new UK home of live UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football, after a tender process in which BT won the exclusive live broadcast rights to all 350 matches from both tournaments. 

BT in the North West 

BT employs around 8,000 people in the North West, making the company one of the region’s largest employers. 

BT’s economic contribution to the North West totalled £1.3 billion in 2012/13, expressed as “Gross Value Added” according to a report carried out by Regeneris Consulting (“Social Study 2013 – The Economic Impact of BT in the United Kingdom”). 
BT also committed more than £3 million to community, charity and voluntary programmes in the region in the same period. 

As part of its commitment to support local events, and long-term support of Paralympic sport, BT supported the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester for four years and last year sponsored the BT GreatCity Games Manchester for the first time. 
BT is also a partner of the International Festival for Business (IFB), the largest business event of the year, which is taking place in Liverpool and Manchester over 50 days this summer. 

About Nova International 
Nova International was established in 1988 and is the market leaders in mass participation event creation. The company is led by Olympic Medallist Brendan Foster. 
Nova International’s current brand portfolio includes the Great Run Series, which includes the Bupa Great North Run, and the Great Swim Series.