Norwich City announce Lotus partnership as Nigel Mansell burns rubber

Norwich City yesterday announced a five-year, seven-figure partnership with Group Lotus – a deal marked by some high-speed antics by former F1 world champion Nigel Mansell.

The deal, which will see Hethel-based Lotus enjoy marketing benefits, was announced with a screech of wheels and clouds of smoke at Carrow Road.

Mr Mansell, who is an ambassador for Lotus, performed wheel spinning stunts in a black and gold Lotus Evora GT4 on the Norwich City car park. Spectators were also in for a treat with a line-up of the prestigious sports cars lining the car park.

Five Lotus Motorsport drivers then took to the pitch for a penalty shoot out with City players Andrew Crofts, Grant Holt, Elliott Bennett, Simeon Jackson and Steve Morison. Although Nigel Mansell scored, it wasn't enough for Lotus as they lost 4-3.

Norwich City chief executive David McNally said: 'We are delighted and thrilled. It's something we have been working on for a while. It's a significant sum and what it means to the football club, as we have said consistently, the cash will be reinvested in football so it will go towards sport development. We have been very active in the transfer window with eight new additions.

'The partnership means these two great international Norfolk iconic brands are working together. There will be a whole plethora of community initiatives that we are quite keen to work on together during the course.

'We share a number of the brand values that Lotus have: passion, performance and a focus on hard work. It doesn't matter whether it's F1 or football you need to be committed and focused on performance.'

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Mr Mansell said: 'It's a tremendous marketing opportunity for both. My son has raced the GT4 and I am proud to act as an ambassador for Lotus. It is great to have this partnership going forward.

'It's a terrific five-year agreement and it gives time to grow and is something both parties can get fantastic benefits from.'

The Canaries have a history of attracting high-profile supporters including Delia Smith, Stephen Fry and Aviva.

Group Lotus chief executive officer Dany Bahar said: 'No one can deny the global appeal of football and this partnership with our local heroes Norwich City will provide us with the new platform to talk to future Lotus fans.'

Pilkington enjoys the buzz at Norwich City – see Sport