Major New Deal for Racing Sponsorship

The Jockey Club in the UK has signed a new sponsorship deal with betting exchange SMarkets which will see their name on 240 races during the year.

It will be the exclusive sponsor on 35 race days, starting tomorrow at Wincanton, a figure which represents ten percent of the Jockey Club races throughout the year.

These days will include meetings at Aintree, Epsom and Sandown Park, three of the jewels in the British racing crown.

“Our 2018 partnership with The Jockey Club is Smarkets’s first ever foray into horse racing sponsorship and one we are hugely excited about,” said spokesman Marco Billelo, writing on the SMarkets website.

“We’re looking forward to being an integral part of the raceday experience, both for those attending the racecourses and the viewers at home.”

“Having enjoyed two years as a sponsor of Queens Park Rangers Football Club, we felt that horse racing was the next natural fit for Smarkets and our brand for a number of reasons.”

“As a company we adopt a data-driven approach to our marketing and painstakingly go to lengths to understand the behaviours of our customers.”

“When evaluating where we should next invest in sponsorship, our first priority was identifying how to reach our target customer.”

“We knew from our existing user data that a significant percentage have horse racing as their primary sport and match many of the trading attributes we view important in our desired customer.”

Hear the thoughts of Leopardstown Racecourse CEO Pat Keogh on the new Dublin Racing Festival. He will be one of a host of speakers at our Sporting Year Ahead breakfast event on Thursday morning, January 18th. Reserve your place today.

“From our experiences with football, we also knew we wanted a sponsorship that could drive engagement with our audience — both ‘live’ at the event and with those at home watching on TV.”

“Horse racing provides that. It has a dedicated and highly active support base with events that are broadcast throughout the whole year — as well as a high concentration of ‘fans’ that fit our profile.”

“One of the main reasons any company enters sponsorship is to build brand awareness. We’re not ashamed to admit that this was one of ours and that we want to increase both aided and unaided awareness of our brand.”

“Our brand name and logo will be highly visible at each of the 240 races we’re sponsoring — all of which will be broadcast on TV to further amplify the reach.”

“In turn, we hope that through our presence at the races we will be able to educate the racing audience about our brand, mission and USP’s and ultimately convert them into loyal customers.”

“It may sound trite, but we believe that we can enhance the raceday experience for the audiences both at the courses and watching at home.”

“The best partnerships — across all walks of life and not just sponsorship — always share a common goal that makes the relationship work.”

“The Jockey Club is an extremely prestigious brand and the largest commercial group in British horse racing. We are delighted to be a partner in 2018 and share values. We are both striving to be the best in our respective fields. We also stand for integrity and want to make a difference for the good of those industries.”

“As Smarkets continues to grow, we’re approaching 2018 with more focus than ever before. This sponsorship with The Jockey Club is just the start and we can’t wait for our first raceday on Saturday.”

Horse racing has long been inextricably linked with the world of betting though sponsorship at the highest level has sometimes caused challenges with some within the sport looking to attract more ‘prestige’ brands.

Unibet and Coral will be two of the major sponsors at the first Dublin Racing Festival taking place at Leopardstown on February 3rd and 4th.

Who knows whether Smarkets may be a name and a brand we will becoming more familiar with over the course of the next year.

Marco Bilello’s comments first appeared on the SMarkets website

Image Credit: Smarkets

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