Skechers, Breathe Right Reportedly Pony Up $500,000 Each To Sponsor California Chrome
California Chrome enters the Belmont Stakes Saturday sporting sponsorship deals with Skechers and Breathe Right "worth $500,000 each," according to Richard Morgan of the N.Y. POST. A source said that the agreements "make the 3-year-old colt the first horse ever to get two such endorsements before a major race." Breathe Right signed a deal with the horse after becoming a sponsor of the race itself, where it will hand out 50,000 nasal strips to fans (N.Y. POST, 6/6). BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK's Kyle Stock notes the partnership between Skechers and California Chrome initially "makes little sense," but the shoe company has called the deal a "way to get the attention of older consumers." Front Row Marketing Services Senior VP Eric Smallwood said the agreement gets Skechers "into an environment that is not traditionally tied to athletic footwear." Smallwood expects the company to "realize a fourfold return on its horse-racing investment." Meanwhile, he said the partnership works because it is based on the "whole concept of speed." Stock notes Skechers made a "similar bid in backing Meb Keflezighi, a deal that paid off handsomely when he won the Boston Marathon in April" (BUSINESSWEEK.com, 6/6).