Betfair has been announced as the new sponsor of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes following a seven-figure five year agreement with Ascot, part of a wide-reaching commercial partnership between the two parties. It is the first time in three years that the showpiece event has carried a sponsor and continues Betfair's recent investment in the horseracing industry worldwide.
Ascot’s late July meeting will now be presented as the ‘Betfair Weekend featuring The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes' and will be run for £1 million for the first time ever in 2009, compared to £850,000 in this year's event.
Charles Barnett, Ascot Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Betfair in this exciting agreement primarily, of course, through their sponsorship of our premier race, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the highlight of what will now be Betfair Weekend at Ascot. The King George will be worth £1,000,000 for the first time in 2009, something which we have aspired to for some time and are now able to deliver as a direct result of this partnership.”
As part of the commercial partnership between the two parties, Betfair will also be sponsoring Ascot's most valuable steeplechase, the Betfair Ascot Chase in February, and will provide annual branding around the site including stalls branding on the Friday of Royal Ascot.
The Betfair Ascot Chase, run this year as the Commercial First Ascot Chase and won by Kauto Star, will complement the Betfair Chase, run at Haydock in November, and is likely to form part of the Betfair Million bonus in future seasons. The Betfair Million pound bonus is offered to any horse finishing first, second, or third in the Betfair Chase, who then places first or second in any race at the Cheltenham Festival, and finally wins the Grand National at Aintree.
Stephen Burn, Betfair’s Director of Horseracing said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Ascot on this ground-breaking agreement, especially as it will take us up to and beyond the course's historic tercentenary in 2011."
“The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes is one of the world's great races and, while its sponsorship is the cornerstone of this initiative, there are considerable further elements to our partnership and we are looking forward to working with Ascot, and its other partners, to find new ways of integrating our cutting-edge technology. We also have the opportunity to create a ‘Betfair Lounge’ on site at Ascot.
“Across the world, Betfair is working with racing industries to help attract new customers and revenue streams to the sport. We are confident that this Ascot partnership will be a blueprint for how racecourses and Betfair can work together for the benefit of each other and our customers," he added.