Online wagering provider Xpressbet has entered into a marketing partnership with the Jockeys' Guild to promote riders.
The Jockeys' Guild represents Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse jockeys with a focus on protecting and promoting jockeys, as well as providing necessary benefits. Xpressbet and the Guild will work together to promote the riders as 'stars' of horse racing, an initiative that both sides believe is important to growing interest in the sport.
Already a leader in online wagering, this partnership represents a significant next step for Xpressbet in furthering its focus on supporting the horse racing industry.
"The jockeys are the most sustainable faces of horse racing," said Xpressbet senior vice president of marketing, Kerry Carlson, in a release. "Great horses make for compelling stories, but too often they come and go so quickly. Jockeys can compete for decades. They are incredible athletes with unique personalities and telling their stories is a great way to grow interest in racing."
The partnership allows Xpressbet and the Guild to work side-by-side to provide racing fans unique access to many of the nation's most talented Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse riders. This access will include the production of 'jockey-centric' content, social media initiatives, and exclusive insights delivered 'through the eyes of a jockey.'
Additionally, Xpressbet plans promotions that will reward its loyal customers by facilitating meet-and-greets with riders, opportunities to win autographed memorabilia, and 'fan fest' style events.
Xpressbet believes showcasing the people of racing: the fans, bettors, jockeys, and trainers—is an important factor in growing the business of racing.
"Promoting the jockeys makes good business sense, especially from a handicapping perspective," said Xpressbet president Ron Luniewski. Past performance data can be overwhelming for newcomers, but educating new bettors on top riders to wager on will make it easier to cash a few tickets. Having a positive experience at the track playing the races will keep people coming back."
Xpressbet has previously worked with two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey John Velazquez. That relationship laid the groundwork for this partnership.
"Xpressbet is a great organization to work with, and what really struck me was their passion for horse racing," said Velazquez, who also serves as Guild chairman. "They are constantly at the track introducing their customers to live racing and talking to everyone willing to listen about online wagering. You can tell they are 'all in' for the sport, and we are certain they will do a great job promoting jockeys and the Guild."
"Working with Xpressbet presents a good opportunity to grow the sport," said leading Quarter Horse jockey and Guild vice-chairman G.R. Carter. "Jockeys overall have a great following with many racing fans, and this partnership will help us showcase our value to the racing world. We look forward to working closely with them."