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Volume 7 No. 79

Marketing and Sponsorship

Royal Ascot is hosting a range of other events to broaden its appeal.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

People do not "follow race horses in the same way they obsess about football or cricket," so "the trick for Ascot is creating experiences around each event that appeal to a wider audience," according to Lucy Tesseras of MARKETING WEEK. Royal Ascot is one of the U.K.'s "most renowned race meetings, known as much for its extravagant hats and glamour" as it is for horse racing. Over the course of the five-day event, which this year takes place from June 19-23, the racecourse "welcomes more than 300,000 visitors and generates three-quarters of its annual income." Therein "lies the challenge." While Royal Ascot is "undoubtedly the most prestigious event held at the racecourse, and the one by which it sets its standard," it only takes place a few days each year and tends to attract "quite a niche audience." So the business "has been steadily ramping up its offer by hosting a range of other events to widen its appeal to different customer groups." But Ascot Chief Commercial Officer Juliet Slot said that fighting for that share of purse "is difficult," particularly as it is "not just other sports it has to compete with." She said, "Most sports are quite tribal. If you follow football, you go and watch your football team. ... But people don’t follow race horses so we are a sport that sits more as an entertainment experience around sport rather than having a very strong tribal following of people that come to every race meeting." To attract a wider audience, Ascot is "building other events around the racing." Ascot hosts "themed experience days" such as food and wine festivals, a beer festival, a fireworks night, a Christmas shopping village and family days (MARKETING WEEK, 6/13).

STAYING TOGETHER: BDAILY's Nick Hill reported Ascot named Harrogate Water its official water supplier in a deal that will run from '18-22. The announcement is an extension of the three-year sponsorship deal signed in '15. The agreement will include a Harrogate Water-sponsored race as well as branding on site, print advertising in race cards, brochures and the Royal Ascot Magazine, and joint digital marketing. Harrogate Water "will also offer racegoers free bottles of spring water on exit" during Royal Ascot and Saturday flat race days as part of "Pace Yourself," the racing industry’s drink awareness campaign. Harrogate Water and Ascot "are also working together on a sustainability project to improve recycling across the site" (BDAILY, 6/12).

Atlético Madrid and Hyundai signed a three-year deal through '21 in which the Korean brand will provide cars for the club, according to Samuel Saco of MARCA. Hyundai's logo will also appear on the left shirt sleeve of Atlético's men's and women's teams. The deal follows Hyundai's recent agreement with Chelsea. The automaker also has a partnership with Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais (MARCA, 6/13).

Man City's deal with Marathonbet will also cover its women's team.
Photo: MAN CITY

Man City announced its first ever global betting partnership, with online bookmaker Marathonbet agreeing to a multi-year deal that will also cover Man City Women. Marathonbet will provide the matchday betting offering at the Etihad Stadium with branded betting kiosks once the '18-19 season kicks off in August. The online bookmaker will also provide Man City fans with exclusive digital content. Supporters will get the chance to win experiences through the partnership. The Marathonbet logo will appear across the Etihad Stadium and on matchday interview backdrops (Man City).

Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers agreed to a two-year shirt sponsorship deal with online bookmaker W88 starting from the '18-19 season. W88 will also be featured prominently on the club's full range of trainingwear and work with Wolves on a host of activations (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

League Championship side Aston Villa confirmed a new shirt sponsor, "with 32Red returning as principal partner." The online betting firm's logo will be featured on the front of Villa's home and away kits, as it was between '06 and '08. Unibet, last season's shirt sponsor, will continue its partnership with Villa but the company's logo "will be emblazoned on the training kit" instead (BIRMINGHAM MAIL, 6/13).

League One side Bradford City signed a two-year, "five-figure deal" making card payment solutions provider Yorkshire Payments its first official training and travelwear sponsor. The company's branding will be featured across the club's first-team training kit "as well as apparel worn for player travel" and during pre-match warmup sessions (BDAILY, 6/13).

Cricketer Virat Kohli was named a Philips India brand ambassador for the company's "male grooming segment." Ahead of the launch of the Philips Trimmers BT 3000 range, the brand launched a social media campaign in which Kohli "spoke about his love for his beard" (INDIAN TELEVISION, 6/13).

The Color Run signed functional training network F45 as the presenting partner of its '18 London event. IMG, which organizes the event, also penned deals with JBL as the official audio electronics sponsor and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children as the official charity partner (IMG).