Whisky brand Scottish Leader has announced it is now the fourth-largest Scotch in the UK, thanks mainly to the brand's involvement with Scottish football clubs.

According to Scottish Leader's parent company Burn Stewart Distillers, the blended whisky has shown a 42% increase in sales volume in the 12 months to January. The company claims that this makes Scottish Leader the third-largest Scotch in the Scottish on-trade and the fourth-largest in the UK, at a time when the blended Scotch category is declining in the country.

Burn Stewart Distillers said yesterday (7 May) that it owes much of its success to its sponsorship of Celtic, Heart of Midlothian and Rangers Football Clubs. The company has recently increased its investment in the teams, with a new advertising campaign based around the sponsorship launched in April this year.

Marco Di Ciacca, brand manager for Scottish Leader said: "The UK whisky trade is a tough environment at the moment and, following the latest Budget, it's certainly not going to get any easier. However, we remain very positive and still believe there is tremendous scope for further volume gains. We are one of the few brands investing in UK activity."