Local politicians react to news that Barrs are official Commonwealth Games sponsor

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 12:26 GMT on Friday, 2nd November 2012.

Picture is copyright of Bill Henry and is used on his courtesy.
CUMBERNAULD based Scottish soft drink manufacturer A.G. Barr p.l.c. was revealed last week as an Official Supporter of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

The company, whose links with Glasgow date back more than 100 years, will be supporting the Games through its wide portfolio of brands including: IRN-BRU, Scotland’s ‘other national drink’, Rubicon, the UK’s number one exotic juice drinks range, as well as Strathmore Scottish spring water and Barr, Scotland’s favourite range of soft drink flavours. 

Strathmore water and other beverages will be supplied by A.G. Barr to the Athletes’ Village during Games time, and IRN-BRU, Strathmore, Rubicon and Barr will be made available across Glasgow 2014 venues. 

Barr Soft Drinks was established in 1875 when former Chairman Robin Barr’s great grandfather Robert Barr set up a soft drinks business in Falkirk. 

In 1887, a second business was established in Glasgow’s Gallowgate and since then A.G. Barr has continued to grow to become one of the UK’s leading independent manufacturers of branded soft drinks. 

The company has a long history of sports sponsorship dating back to the early 1900s when IRN-BRU was associated with sporting heroes of the day Donald Dinnie, all round Champion Athlete of the World, and Alex Munro, Champion Caber Tosser of the World and Champion Wrestler. 

In more recent times, there is Rubicon's association with Twenty20 cricket in 2010/11, Strathmore's support for Glasgow and Edinburgh Road Races, IRN-BRU's backing of the Scottish Football League and its support for the Rugby Football League in England as well as its sponsorship of Glasgow-based Queens Park FC. 

Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive David Grevemberg said: “I am delighted to welcome such a well-known Scottish brand into the Glasgow 2014 family of supporters. 

“A.G. Barr is known around the world for being distinctly Scottish and has grown to become one of the largest soft drinks producers in the UK while remaining synonymous with the warmth and humour of Scots. 

“The company has a strong track record of supporting sport at all levels from grass-roots to elite and we look forward to working with them.”

A.G. Barr Chief Executive Roger White said: “We are hugely proud of our strong roots in Scotland and our long standing Glasgow heritage, which dates back more than 100 years. 

“Glasgow 2014 is massively exciting, whether you’re taking part, volunteering or watching. The Games will bring something extraordinary to a very special city, and we are delighted to play our part in that.” 

Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said: “A.G. Barr has a strong history of sports sponsorship in Scotland and I am pleased to see such an iconic Scottish brand playing a part in the Commonwealth Games. The 2014 Games are a fantastic opportunity to showcase Scottish products and I would encourage local companies to take advantage of the economic benefits the Games have to offer.” 

Responding to the announcement, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East MP Gregg McClymont said: “I am proud that a Cumbernauld-based success story has become the latest official sponsor for what are sure to be monumental games. 

“AG Barr already have a strong record of supporting our local community and this move to back the Commonwealth Games is to be commended. 

“I am delighted that Scotland’s second national drink will be promoted world-wide as a result.” 

Adding to Mr McClymont’s comments, Jamie Hepburn, SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth said: “The Commonwealth Games will showcase Scotland to the rest of the world and you don’t get a much more iconic range of Scottish products than those created by AG Barr. 

“I am delighted that they will be sponsoring the Games and I’m sure that the many visitors from around the world who come to the Commonwealth Games in 2014 will be leaving Scotland with a taste for Irn-Bru.”