SBJ/September 1 - 7, 2003/This Weeks Issue

Breeders’ Cup promo goes retail

The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships launched its first-ever consumer promotion last week, allowing fans to buy general admission tickets at 350 Ralphs supermarkets in Southern California.

As part of the deal, Breeders' Cup sponsor Guinness has installed end-of-aisle displays that advertise the $10 general admission tickets shoppers can buy when they pay for their groceries. Shoppers also can receive discount coupons for Breeders' Cup merchandise sold at Santa Anita Park on race day, Oct. 25.

"This is really the first Breeders' Cup ticket promotion that we have conducted that involves a retail partner," said Keith Chamblin, senior vice president of marketing and industry relations for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. "We never really had the right marketing partner in place to carry out a promotion of this kind before, but Guinness turned out to be the perfect partner."

The promotion will expose the event to grocery store shoppers who are not necessarily horse-racing fans, Chamblin said.

Guinness signed a two-year deal to sponsor the Breeders' Cup last year. Unlike the event's other sponsors, the beer company is not sponsoring a particular race or thoroughbred division, but rather the starting gate for the event. One source said the annual sponsorship fee is in the high six figures.

As part of the promotion, Guinness will sponsor an Irish rock band that will do a concert after the day's races. The event is called "Guinness Rocks the Rail" and will be held in Santa Anita's infield.

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