BC Seeks Sponsor for Shipping Costs
by Mark Popham
Date Posted: 10/23/2008 4:26:06 PM
Last Updated: 10/24/2008 1:01:39 PM
Breeders’ Cup, in a bold move to make the event even more international, has been actively seeking a sponsor to underwrite all shipping costs for overseas-trained horses, and maybe also pay for their trainers, owners, jockeys and grooms to fly to America, as well.
It wants to match other international meetings like the Dubai World Cup in March and the Hong Kong International Races in December, which offer free travel for connections and their horses.
Greg Avioli, president and chief operating officer of Breeders’ Cup, has been involved in the initiative, which got as far as meeting potential sponsors in Europe.
A deal nearly came to fruition for this year with one party, but fell through because of the likely open nature of such costs.
Breeders’ Cup has mentioned a figure of $750,000 to potential sponsors, but the eventual bill could be significantly higher, depending on how many overseas horses were attracted by free shipping.
More controversially, the sponsorship initiative may be linked with gaining an international betting partner for Breeders’ Cup races to spread the appeal further worldwide.
British betting companies like Ladbrokes, William Hill, and Betfair, all of whom have international ambitions, are among those believed keen to establish formal links with the Breeders’ Cup through sponsorship.
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