SBD/August 21, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Breeders' Cup Hires Front Row Marketing To Sell Sponsorships After Revenue Drop

The Breeders’ Cup has "hired Front Row Marketing Services to sell sponsorship inventory for horse racing’s annual championship event," according to Liz Mullen of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The event has "seen a number of sponsorships, including deals with Grey Goose and Emirates, expire in recent years." It has "several endemic partners, including ExpressBet, the Daily Racing Form and a number of thoroughbred horse breeding farms, but its only nonendemic sponsors now are John Deere, Lalique and Mont Blanc." Front Row President Chris Lencheski said that the event "has a virtual 'clean plate' to sign new partners." Categories that are "open for sponsorship deals include airlines, automotive, banking and spirits." Breeders’ Cup CMO Drew Sheinman said that the event hired Front Row "after meeting with several agencies." Front Row is a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor, which owns Breeders' Cup broadcast partner NBC. Sheinman said that the company’s "connection" to the net was "a large part of why they were retained" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/19 issue). The DAILY RACING FORM's Matt Hegarty reported the deal "comes after sponsorship revenue for the Breeders’ Cup dropped 46 percent for the 2012 event compared to the 2011 event." Breeders’ Cup Senior Dir of Event Communications Jim Gluckson said that the event for the past several years has "attempted to reach sponsorship and marketing agreements using in-house staff" (DRF.com, 8/20). In New Jersey, John Brennan noted Front Row's "past and present clients have included" the Nets, 76ers, Flyers, Eagles, Seahawks, Pocono Raceway, The America's Cup, college sports and pro golf (NORTHJERSEY.com, 8/20).
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