Norwich Union sponsors BBC's sports talent search

Article date: 31 January 2003

Norwich Union has formed a unique partnership with the BBC tosponsor a new sports talent event called ‘Born to Win’that will be broadcast on the BBC this autumn. Aimed at findingBritain’s most promising 16-18 year old amateur sportspeople,the event will test all contestants to the limit of their physicaland psychological abilities to see if they have what it takes tomake it as a top athlete.

Born to Win will differ considerably from other talent-findingshows as it is focusing purely on the future of British sport. Noorganisation will derive commercial benefit from the winners, andthe prize for each boy and girl winner will be a tailor madebursary, designed to give them the opportunity to realise theirsporting potential.

Competitors will have to succeed at a variety of stages thatinclude psychometric and mental aptitude tests, and physical andpsychological competitions – each devised by the UK’sleading sports scientists. Regional testing centres administered bysports development officers and PE teachers will determine thosewho will make it to Loughborough for a gruelling weekend in frontof a panel of experts. These will then be whittled down to the 16finalists who will be put through their paces in St Anton inAustria to determine the ultimate winners.

Norwich Union is the principal sponsor of UK Athletics anddevotes 20% of its sponsorship fee to the development of grassrootsathletics. As athletics is the basis for all sports, Norwich Unionis the natural partner for such an event.

It is hoped that all those who make it to Loughborough will alsotry to achieve their full sporting potential. Norwich Union islooking to provide them all with opportunities in athletics and theBBC has already made a commitment to track their progress.

The BBC will be undertaking a mass recruitment campaign for theseries, attracting not only those who already excel at a particularsport, but also those who have not been given the chance to excel– either through lack of facilities or opportunities, orthrough a lack of incentive. With this in mind, an extensive andinnovative advertising campaign will target those teenagers.

David Czerwinski, head of sponsorship for Norwich Union,comments: “Our support of athletics from grassroots to elitelevel makes this association with the BBC a natural extension ofour commitment to the sport and its development. We are reallyexcited about being involved in this project which will be visuallystunning and I’m sure a tremendous success.”

Peter Salmon, director of BBC Sport, adds: “Consistenthome- grown sporting success is something the British public hasbeen demanding for many years. We’re hoping that this newapproach to attract sporting talent will help encourage moreyoungsters to consider sport as a serious career and help takeBritain back to the pinnacle of sporting achievement. With NorwichUnion’s support, we are anticipating that this will becomeone of the ‘must-watch’ series of 2003.”

The deal between Norwich Union and the BBC was negotiated for anundisclosed fee by Total Sponsorship, Norwich Union’ssponsorship consultancy and part of global communicationsspecialist Mediaedge:cia.

16-18 year olds can enter by

For further media information, call Stuart Wareman atTotal Sponsorship on tel:020 7803 2306 (07733 010 799)/

Notes to editors

  • Norwich Union Insurance is the UK's largest insurer with amarket share of around 16 per cent and is more than 1.5 times thesize of its nearest rival. It is also the largest personal linesinsurer.
  • It has a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses. It insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in five motor vehicles
    • more than 700,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on the Avivaplc website at

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