Skechers "Rolls The Dice" With California Chrome Sponsorship Ahead Of Belmont Stakes
The owners of California Chrome reached an agreement with Skechers, marking the "first major sponsorship deal for the horse ahead of his attempt to be the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years," according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source said that it is the "largest deal in horse racing since UPS paid IAEH Stables to advertise on Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown" in '08. Skechers CEO Richard Greenberg said, "We're spending a couple bucks to roll the dice and if this horse wins it all, we'll be part of it." Rovell reported Skechers will be featured "on everything from the apparel of the horse's handlers to the horse's blanket, or fly sheet, to the barn" leading up to Saturday's Belmont Stakes. The deal also "requires team members to wear Skechers branding in the winner's circle should the horse win and allows Skechers to use California Chrome in marketing materials for a month after the race." Greenberg said that while the deal is "a visibility play, it's also an age play." Rovell noted the median age of the Triple Crown TV viewer "skews older, matching the 50- to 60-something consumer Skechers has increasingly targeted by using former athletes." Greenberg: "We're going after an older audience" (ESPN.com, 6/1).