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SBD Global/July 3, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Stewards' Cup Facing Backlash After Renaming Event As Part Of $8,600 Sponsorship Deal

One of horse racing’s "most longstanding race-titles has been killed off after 174 years at the insistance of a new sponsor in exchange for a one-year deal" and an extra £5,000 ($8,600), according to Chris Cook of the London GUARDIAN. The Stewards’ Cup, "famed as the cavalry charge sprint handicap which is the betting highlight of Glorious Goodwood, is to be called the 32Red Cup when it is run next month." The news "sparked an instant backlash on Twitter, where outrage was expressed that a race title dating back to 1840 had been ditched and so cheaply." The parties involved "did not even consult with the British Horseracing Authority before making the deal, which caused some consternation at the regulatory body when the news broke." Despite its status as "a popular betting heat generating excellent turnover for bookmakers, the race has apparently struggled to attract a backer since Blue Square ended its sponsorship" in '12. Sheikh Fahad, a Qatari royal, "stepped in to support last year’s race at short notice when it became clear that no one else would do so, prefacing the title with Robins Farm, the name of a stable he owns." Online bookmaker 32Red "will also attach its name to the consolation race for horses that miss the cut for the former Stewards’ Cup" and is offering an extra £5,000 in prize money for that race. Goodwood PR Manager Lucy Humble said, "If we had sponsors lining up, we might be in a position to side with one who didn’t want to change the name" (GUARDIAN, 7/2).
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