From racecourses in Australia to naming rights for races in England.
English racecourse Ascot on Wednesday announced Betfair as the new sponsor of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which will be run for £1 million for the first time in 2009 (£850,000 in 2008).
The sponsorship will run initially for five years as the centerpiece of a wide-reaching commercial partnership between the two parties.
‘The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair)’ is the headline agreement in a substantial seven-figure deal over five years that Ascot and Betfair believe will develop into a wider commercial relationship. Ascot’s late July meeting will now be presented as ‘Betfair Weekend featuring The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes’.
Ascot Chief Executive, Charles Barnett, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Betfair in this exciting agreement primarily, of course, their sponsorship of our premier race, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the highlight of what will now be Betfair Weekend at Ascot. The King George will be worth £1,000,000 for the first time in 2009, something which we have aspired to for some time and are now able to deliver as a direct result of this partnership.”
Elaborating on the additional strands to the new association, Barnett explained:
“Starting this coming February, Betfair will also be sponsoring our premier jumps race, the Betfair Ascot Chase, and there will be annual branding around the site including stalls branding on the Friday of Royal Ascot. These additional strands to the partnership are just two illustrations of why this agreement is significantly more than traditional race sponsorship.”
The Betfair Ascot Chase, run this year as the Commercial First Ascot Chase and won by Kauto Star, will complement the Betfair Chase, run at Haydock in November, and is likely to form part of the Betfair Million bonus in future seasons.
Betfair’s Director of Horseracing, Stephen Burn, looked to the future and further commercial benefits for both the exchange and Ascot: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Ascot on this ground-breaking agreement, especially as it will take us up to and beyond the course's historic tercentenary in 2011,” he said.
“The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is one of the world's great races and, while its sponsorship is the cornerstone of this initiative, there are considerable further elements to our partnership as Charles alludes to and we are looking forward to working with Ascot, and its other partners, to find new ways of integrating our cutting-edge technology. We also have the opportunity to create a ‘Betfair Lounge’ on site at Ascot.
“Across the world, Betfair is working with racing industries to help attract new customers and revenue streams to the sport. We are confident that this Ascot partnership will be a blueprint for how racecourses and Betfair can work together for the benefit of each other and our customers."