Investec Withdrawal A Blow

Investec pull the plug

As delighted as the British Horseracing Authority, racing participants and racing fans are that British racing has resumed, the sport is dealing with some key sponsorship holes.

Already having to cope with slashed feature prizemoney due to reduced betting turnover and on-course revenue losses, the industry is now faced with needing to find new sponsors for major races.

Investec Derby trophy (photo: Gavin James)

Investec Derby trophy (photo: Gavin James)

Having no sponsor for the time-honoured St Leger is one thing, however an out-of-the-blue decision by Investec to cut short its current sponsorship of the Epsom Derby meeting (over two days in June) is a big blow.

According to theguardian.com, Investec’s decision follows a month-long delay to the famous racemeeting which was unable to accommodate its 100 000-strong crowd due to behind closed doors COVID-19 protocols.

It’s not just the Derby that’s impacted. Both the Gr1 Oaks and Gr1 Coronation Cup formed part of the sponsorship deal that was scheduled to continue until 2026.

UK horse racing daily The Racing Post revealed that Investec and rights-holder The Jockey Club had agreed to exit the 10-year contract, from 2017 to 2026, by mutual consent.

The current deal was apparently worth about £2m (R42.7m) per year and the association between the two organisations began in 2009, when Investec took over the title rights from telco brand Vodafone.

Malcolm Fried, Chief Marketing Officer for Investec, said: “Our partnership with the Derby Festival has been fantastic for Investec. After more than a decade of the association, though, late last year we began a review of our marketing objectives and are now working to a new set of priorities and a new mix of marketing channels.”

Investec dropped the Cape Derby after the 2018 renewal of the prestigious Cape classic.

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