Hopes of big net profits rest on Henman

Norfolk soft drinks manufacturer Robinsons is hoping for British success at Wimbledon to send sales of its drinks soaring.

Norfolk soft drinks manufacturer Robinsons is hoping for British success at Wimbledon to send sales of its drinks soaring.

Robinsons has been associated with the Wimbledon championships for almost 70 years and the two weeks of the tournament give the brand huge exposure.

The company's lemon barley water was invented in the men's dressing room in 1934 and has been a fixture of the umpire's chair since then.

More than 300 million litres of Robinsons soft drinks are produced at its Carrow factory in Norwich each year. And the Wimbledon fortnight is traditionally among the company's best sales periods.

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Robinsons has reinforced its position at Wimbledon by sponsoring British number one Tim Henman, whose face has been appearing on millions of squash bottles.

It has also been running a tennis promotion with supermarket chain Sainsbury trying to encourage more people to take up the sport.

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During the Wimbledon fortnight, Robinsons is also planning a number of publicity stunts.

These include renaming a pub, in the Barnes area of London, the Henman Arms for the duration of the tournament.

The company has also teamed up with Tim's old school to produce a giant message wishing him good luck. It measures 75m by 25m.

And the firm is showing its sense of humour by presenting a petition to the British Medical Association to ask the organisation to recognise Henmania as a medical condition.

A Robinsons spokesman said: "We're still the official soft drink of Wimbledon championships and our association with the tournament goes back a long way. It's a really important time for us and we try every year to reinforce our association."

Robinsons traces its history back to the merger of Robinson & Belville with Keens in 1823. The company was famous for its patented barley powder, a drink that was said to be the cure-all for fevers and kidney complaints during the Victorian era.

In 1903, the firm was acquired by J&J Colman of Norwich, and in 1934 lemon barley water was developed. In 1995, Britvic soft drinks acquired the Robinsons brand and the Carrow factory where 250 people work.

There are seven major brands under the umbrella, including Robinsons Original and the famous lemon barley water.

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