When you watch any type of sports, you might notice there are branded logos on the T-shirts, the protective gear, the cars, and in the case of horse racing, on the jockey’s jersey.
You will often see travel companies, big food and drink brands, and other lifestyle brands as sponsors – but more recently, you will see the bold logos of online casino games brands.
The reasoning behind this trend is brand association: seeing your favorite horses race down the track with specific casinos on the jockeys’ jerseys will make viewers more likely to associate the brand with the sport.
Let’s look at what casino sponsorship looks like and its impact on the sport itself.
What is a casino sponsorship?
The online casino industry is booming, and there are more online casino choices than ever before. Many online casinos are lucky enough to operate in a state or a country that allows for sportsbooks.
A sponsorship from a casino isn’t just lucrative for the team, but it associates the casino with the team. Viewers are likely to place a wager with the company as they watch the match, and that’s a win for all.
A casino will offer a racing or sports team a set amount of cash for a fixed term in exchange for having their logo on the team’s jerseys for new season and other marketing items.
Does racing receive a lot of money for sponsorships?
In March 2021, it was reported by the Betting and Gaming council that horse racing receives a massive £350 million a year for media rights, wagering levy payments, and sponsorships.
Why would a casino want to sponsor horse racing?
In the U.S. alone, in 2020, horse racing was reported to have a market value of $3 billion. In the U.K., horse racing is the fourth most popular sport, with six million people attending horse races each year.
Popular casinos are always looking for ways to bring in more customers and players, and one of the best ways to connect directly with their audience is by having their logo on the jersey of the jockeys.
Here are a few of the ways that casinos benefit from the sponsorship:
Expanding into new markets: depending on where the casino is based, it might have been limited as to what it could offer in terms of games, so expanding into the sports iGaming market is a competitive place to be. What better way to make a splash than by sponsoring the horses and jockeys the significant events?
Brand reputation: Unfortunately, online casinos don’t have an excellent reputation even though they offer many different types of games – some are even free! One of the most significant benefits of casinos sponsoring horse racing individuals or racecourses is that they can benefit from horse racing’s reputation – and improve their own.
Brand awareness: If you haven’t heard of a brand, you can’t check them out. Where better for a casino to place its brand than on horses and jockeys that people are wagering on?
Legitimacy: When new casino brands hit the market, it can be challenging to get a foothold. Due to increased awareness about safety online, online slot players are more vigilant and less likely to try new brands. Seeing the logo of a casino brand while watching a sport instantly lends to its legitimacy.
Online casinos offer large and generous sponsorships, and it can help to improve the team, get access to new facilities, and more.
How does horse racing use the sponsorship money?
There are many different types of sponsorships, from the smaller ones to individuals who are looking to enjoy the benefits of a day or two at the races and some other special perks.
Casino sponsorships are more of a “big fish” deal – because there is a lot more cash involved.
Casino websites sponsoring horse races make complete sense in terms of a partnership because a considerable proportion of people watching the races will place a wager. That goes for people placing bets online and those placing bets while at the racecourse.
In 2018, £2.5 billion was generated through online horse race wagering, and a total of $14.5 billion across all races with in-person attendance.
The Horserace Levy Betting Board has a 10% collection on all bets on horse races. That cash pot increases prize money, improves horse care, and creates better racecourse facilities for racing fans and jockeys.
Jockeys are different from most other sports players because they are usually self-employed. They all receive a riding fee for every race they run and if their horse runs well they will get part of the purse, but from that money they must pay for insurance, agents, riders union fees, valets, and more.
That is where sponsorships and prize money comes in. Prize money is earned, while sponsorship is a mutually beneficial situation. The jockey will receive a payment that is based on their success, profile, and how well their agent can negotiate.
The sponsorship money that goes into horse racing is used to make the sport better in the right way. The jockeys benefit directly from having a higher income, while the horses benefit from having better facilities at the racecourses they visit.
Not only that, but with casinos sponsoring the sport, it is more likely to increase wages, thus increasing the levy total – which all goes to improving the sport.
Casino sponsorships for horse racing are a mutually beneficial and are something that we will probably see more of in the next few years.