Betfair, Ascot in partnership (by


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Dec 2, 2008

Betfair Blog:
Betfair, Ascot in partnership

Betfair’s excellent progress as a worldwide brand took a significant step forward on Wednesday with the announcement of a five-year deal with Ascot, Britain’s highest-profile racecourse.

The substantial seven-figure sponsorship revolves around Britain’s top international race, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, whose value has been boosted from £850,000 to £1 million for 2009, but also involves much else to push the Betfair brand.

Stephen Burn, Betfair’s Director of Horseracing, explained at the media launch at Corrigan’s in London’s Mayfair district: "We are very pleased that Ascot understand our business and are keen to work with us in a way that we have been hoping to work with racing for a such a long time - the Ascot executive has been very forward thinking.

"We don’t want to just attach our name to the King George, we desire a more deep-rooted and fundamental partnership with racing, to try and bring new customers to Ascot and the sport as well as maintaining existing ones.

"Our first ever-market at Betfair was the Epsom Oaks in 2000 and 36 people bet on that market and it is real tribute to our customers that within 10 years Betfair is able to do a headline deal such as this.

"The credit should go to our customers who have voted with their wallets to bet on racing in a different way.

"Betfair will continue to grow and we are really excited about what we can do for racing through the Ascot partnership.

"Now nearly half of Betfair’s customers come from outside the UK and the Australian team have worked pretty closely with us to sort out the Ascot deal. There is something called Royal Ascot in the city in Melbourne and we will bring over Australian customers and clients, particularly for Royal Ascot.

"It will be interesting how we can attract more people internationally to bet on Ascot and British racing. We are not obliged to make Levy payments on our international business but we continue to do so. This year we will pay approaching £2 million in voluntary payments to the Levy. So it can be frustrating to hear from time to time that Betfair is not doing enough to support British racing above what we are obliged to do.

"This sponsorship with Ascot now makes us easily the second-biggest sponsor in British racing with only the tote putting more money directly into sponsorship."

Charles Barnett, Ascot’s Chief Executive, added: " I am delighted to announce Betfair as the new sponsor of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ascot’s premier race which is regularly rated within the top three races worldwide.

"The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair) is a headline agreement over five years which Ascot and Betfair believe will develop into a wider commercial relationship.

"Ascot’s late July meeting will be now be presented as the Betfair weekend, featuring the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair) which will be worth £1 million for the first time in 2009, something we have aspired to for some time but are now able to deliver because of this new partnership.

"Today’s announcement is far more wide-reaching than the King George announcement - starting this coming February Betfair will be sponsoring our most valuable steeplechase, the £150,000 Betfair Ascot Chase.

"In the same way that you have seen pennants and boarding marking our association with other annual partners at Ascot, there will be annual Betfair branding around the racecourse throughout the year including stalls branding on the Friday of Royal Ascot.

"I am delighted to welcome Betfair as partners today and long forward to a long and fruitful relationship."

The Ascot sponsorship, the biggest in British Flat racing, will involve the establishment of Betfair lounges at Ascot where new and existing Betfair customers can experience the thrill of betting on horseracing.

The Betfair education trailer will be inside Ascot at all the Berkshire course’s fixtures to assist racegoers.

Betfair’s corporate entertaining at Ascot will involve boxes in prominent positions.

The international appeal of Ascot and Royal Ascot will be leveraged by Betfair to build its racing custom worldwide.

The Betfair Ascot Chase will be used to augment the Betfair Million bonus which kicks off with the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park in November. -- BETFAIR

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