Jim Beam has significantly increased its association with the V8 Supercar Championship Series after announcing an extension of its sponsorship of the sport for three more years.

The company will continue to act as title sponsor for Dick Johnson's Ford team and will also become the Official Spirit of V8 Supercars Australia; putting further resources into the sport as one of its flagship sponsorships.

The Jim Beam deal is the second major sponsorship announcement for V8 Supercars Australia in two weeks following that of CSR Ethanol coming on board as the official fuel supplier from 2009, and is one of six new 'super deals' that have been negotiated and agreed in recent weeks.

"The business of V8 Supercars Australia is in terrific shape and Jim Beam clearly recognise this," V8 Supercars Australia chairman Tony Cochrane said. "Jim Beam is a massive global company with very deep roots in Australia. This country in fact is the largest market for Jim Beam outside of the United States.

"With the Sydney 400 and the Townsville 400 being introduced as major new events next year and a strong future ahead clearly Jim Beam are in the sport for the long haul. We will reward them with the mass brand recognition they expect by way of a huge following and massive television footprint in Australia, New Zealand and the world."

Jim Beam's sponsorship and events Manager, Kel Constantine was pleased to be extending the companies partnership with the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

"The extension of this agreement will enable us to continue to develop our on and off track programs to create memorable experiences for all fans," she said. "We look forward to reaching millions of passionate V8 Supercar fans over the next three years and we hope our increased evolvement will help attract more people to this great sport.

"The V8 Supercar Championship Series is also an important platform for Jim Beam to continue our Where Do You Draw The Line? campaign which focuses on personal responsibility and the importance of knowing what's right for you when drinking."

The announcement of an extension of DJR comes at a good time for the team, which will lose financial backing from Ford next year and which could also lose its star driver Will Davison - who is linked to a move to the works Holden team for 2009.

"I think it's really good for the team to be able to say we're gonna be here, we're gonna be here for a long goddamn time," Johnson told Bigpond Sport. "It gives you an opportunity to put together a business plan for the next three years.

"Having something year to year, I don't think anyone gets an advantage out of; it's the long term relationships I've always had and it obviously works best."



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