HC Deb 12 July 1999 vol 335 c25W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what is the total amount of money raised in lieu of tobacco sponsorship to date by the Tobacco Sport Sponsorship Task Force. [90615]

Mr. Chris Smith

All sports will be given up to July 2003 to secure alternative sponsorship and those meeting the criteria for global sports will be allowed up to July 2006. My hon. Friend the Minister for Sport has maintained close contact with the seven sports seeking assistance from the Tobacco Task Force. All these sports have existing contracts running at least up to 2001 and until 2003 in most cases.

It is too soon to be looking to replace existing contracts and our help can most effectively be targeted in the 12 to 18 months before these lapse, which is the normal lead time for negotiating new sponsorships. In the meantime, the Task Force will be advising the sports on how they can reposition themselves in the market place and supporting them in building new commercial relationships which can be sustained. My hon. Friend the Minister for Sport has also recently had a very positive meeting with Richard Branson about possible help he can offer.