SBJ/July 14-20, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sentient Jet returns to Breeders’ Cup

Sentient Jet has returned as a corporate partner of the Breeders’ Cup with a new, multiyear deal that makes it title sponsor of the event’s prestigious race for 2-year-old colts, a race that now will be known as the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. 

Financial terms of the deal, which also makes Sentient Jet the exclusive private aviation partner of the Breeders’ Cup, were not disclosed. 

Sentient Jet, a sponsor in 2008-11, will put its name on the Juvenile.
Photo by: COURTESY OF BREEDERS' CUP

Breeders’ Cup CMO Drew Sheinman said the Sentient Jet partnership is the first of a number of deals that will be announced over the next 30 to 60 days. 

“We are very active in discussions with multiple brands in multiple categories,” said Sheinman, who took over as chief marketing officer of horse racing’s annual championship event in May 2013.

Sentient Jet returns to the Breeders’ Cup after having been a corporate partner from 2008 through 2011. It had been the title sponsor of three other Breeders’ Cup races under that previous deal. 

This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be run Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park in California. 

Sentient Jet President Andrew Collins said the reason the company has not been a partner for the last few years was because of a change in its business model related to the national economic crisis a few years ago and not because of any dissatisfaction with partnership with the sports property. 

Collins

“The Breeders’ Cup has always been a wonderful partner for us,” Collins said. “Their ability over time to capture the luxury-based demographics, in their fan base as well as in their [race horse] owners, the breeders, the trainers — this is right in our wheelhouse. It is very relevant to our clientele.” 

Sentient Jet invented the “jet card” concept in which customers purchase a card that enables them to get a private jet to fly them anywhere in the United States with just 10 hours notice. Its sports partnerships includes being the official private jet of the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic. It also has a number of professional athletes as customers, Collins said. 

One of the reasons Sentient Jet chose to sponsor the $2 million, 1 1/16 mile Juvenile is because the race is often a preview for horses that will be vying to win racing’s Triple Crown, including the Kentucky Derby, the following year, Collins said. 

As part of the deal, Sentient will get signage at the track, including in the winner’s circle and at the finish line. It also receives ad spots on event broadcaster NBC Sports Network as well as digital media and print content. A hospitality package at the event is included as well. 

“I really want to make sure that what we do is as highly targeted as possible,” Collins said. “This one propitiously aligns with the interest of our customer base. When we reach out and start inviting our customers, our cardholders, to the Breeders’ Cup, it’s like instant pick up. People come and they love it.”

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