Youbet.com is the official online wagering service for this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
The one-year marketing agreement wiht Churchill Downs Inc. does not mean Youbet.com is the only place racing fans can make an online wager on the Derby, but it will significantly expand the California-based company's visibility.
"Three years ago, we couldn't have gotten this deal done," said David Marshall, co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer for Youbet.com. "The online industry has evolved, and we see the agreement as the industry embracing us and using us to cultivate customers."
The deal allows Youbet.com to participate in several direct mail programs to Churchill Downs' customers and will place key graphic links on the Web sites of Churchill Downs (www.churchilldowns.com
) and other Churchill racetracks, including Hollywood Park and Arlington Park, and the official Web site of the Kentucky Derby (www.kentuckyderby.com
). Additionally the agreement gives Youbet.com a 30-second commercial daily on Churchill Downs Simulcast Network, which is seen in approximately 1,000 nationwide simulcast outlets, and a print advertisement in the official race programs at Churchill Downs racetracks.
"Churchill Downs Incorporated is pleased to work with Youbet.com in this unique marketing initiative," said John R. Long, Churchill Downs' executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Youbet.com is regarded as an industry leader in Internet account-wagering systems due to its rich technology and user-friendly system features."
As for online wagering, Churchill Downs has an exclusive agreement with the TV Games Network. Youbet.com, however, has a strategic alliance with TVG so it has access to Churchill Downs racing content.
"Obviously we wouldn't have done it without the relationship with TVG and the access to the content," Marshall said. "But what we have done with Churchill is build a marketing relationship. The way we look at the world we are a service provider and it would be natural for us to work hand-in-hand with the racetracks to cultivate customers."
Marshall said the company is negotiating similar deals with other racetracks including Pimlico Race Course and Belmont Park.