The Dad Vail Regatta is actively looking for a new title sponsor because Aberdeen Asset Management is ending its business relationship with the nation's largest college regatta, held every May on the Schuylkill.
Confirming the end of the Aberdeen sponsorship, which started in 2010, after the May 2016 rowing event, Dad Vail general manager Fran Connors said Thursday: "We're optimistic we're going to get a replacement. We're talking to several companies."
Connors would not reveal names of companies event officials are talking to and would not say how much Aberdeen had paid for its sponsorship.
Jill Maxwell, head of sponsorships and corporate events for Aberdeen, said the company gave notice to Dad Vail organizers after this year's regatta that it would no longer sponsor the event after its contract expires with the races May 13 and 14. Aberdeen will back away if another title sponsor is signed before then, Maxwell said.
Connors said Thomas Jefferson University remains a presenting sponsor of the regatta.
"It takes additional funds to operate an event of this magnitude," Connors said.
The Dad Vail, in formal operation since 1939, began as a regatta for emerging university crew programs. That remains the centerpiece of it, a rowing event for programs that are not typically competing for national titles.
Adding Aberdeen as a sponsor in 2010 was a key factor in keeping the Dad Vail in Philadelphia. Connors said there had been no further discussion about the regatta leaving Philadelphia.
"We're going to have another great regatta in 2016," he said.
Aberdeen, an international investment management group based in Scotland, has lost investors because of slowing growth in emerging markets, according to a November article in the Wall Street Journal. Aberdeen is title sponsor of the Scottish Open, telecast on NBC and on the Golf Channel in the United States. Maxwell said a corporate decision was made to keep that golf tournament as a sponsorship priority.
Maxwell said the Dad Vail sponsorship was a great success for Aberdeen. "I'd love for another brand to experience what we have," she said.
Dad Vail officials said they had had a solid business relationship with Aberdeen.
"We'll miss Aberdeen's participation and working with its fine staff," Jim Hanna, president of Dad Vail's organizing committee, said in a statement.