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Sponsorship Of Thoroughbred Racing To Total $90 Million In 2004

June 02, 2004: Triple Crown action combined with marketing-savvy sponsorship packages fuel corporate interest


For Immediate Release:
June 2, 2004

For More Information Contact:
William Chipps, IEG, LLC, Tel: 312/944-1727; william.chipps@sponsorship.com; www.sponsorship.com

Chicago, Ill. After nearly a decade of lackluster corporate interest, sponsorship spending on thoroughbred horse racing is hitting its stride.

Companies based in North America are expected to spend $90 million on thoroughbred racing events, venues and associations in 2004, up from $79 million last year.

The increased spend is largely fueled by the recent bids for the Visa Triple Crown: Smarty Jones attempt for the third jewel in the crown at this weekend’s Belmont Stakes and Funny Cide’s near-miss for the Crown last year.

That action has fueled renewed interest in the thoroughbred racing, which hasn’t seen a Triple Crown winner in over 25 years. Indeed, ESPN’s Kentucky Derby Special posted a 17 percent increase in ratings over 2003, while the Preakness Stakes posted a 43 percent increase over last year.

"Corporations are increasingly looking for opportunities to capitalize on the resurgence in thoroughbred racing, a platform that offers marketing opportunities for both consumer and business-to-business targets," said William Chipps, senior editor of IEG Sponsorship Report, the world’s leading authority on sponsorship.

A revamped sponsorship strategy by the National Thoroughbred Racing Assn. also has played a role in recruiting new sponsorship dollars. While the NTRA once sold sponsorship as a consumer marketing platform around horse racing, it now focuses on business-to-business packages that guarantee sponsors incremental business from the NTRA and its affiliated organizations.

The strategy has paid off: The NTRA had three partners before launching the new sponsorship strategy. Now it has nine, including FedEx, Bessemer Trust, John Deere and Alberto-Culver.

Sponsorship sales efforts by jockeys also has pulled incremental sponsorship dollars—and controversy—into the sport.


About IEG, LLC
IEG is the world's leading provider of independent research, training and analysis on sponsorship. Founded in 1981, IEG provides corporations with the strategy and tools to harness the sales and marketing power of sports, arts, events, entertainment and cause marketing.

IEG offers services that include consulting, sponsorship intelligence and valuation. IEG publishes IEG Sponsorship Report, the international biweekly newsletter on sponsorship; the IEG Sponsorship Sourcebook, the definitive guide to sponsors, properties and agencies; and other industry publications and sources.

IEG also is the leader in sponsorship training. Its internationally renowned Event Marketing Conference, now in its 21st year, attracts a capacity crowd of delegates each year. Through its conferences and seminars, IEG has trained more than 25,000 sponsorship executives worldwide.

For More Information Contact:
William Chipps, IEG, Inc., Tel: 312/944-1727; Fax: 312/944-1897;
E-mail: william.chipps@sponsorship.com or visit IEG's Web site: www.sponsorship.com

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