Sportsbet has formed a five-year partnership with Melbourne Racing Club (MRC), commencing on 1 January 2024.
The Flutter-owned company aims to ‘re-position the sport’ to new racing fans and open up racing to more sporting audiences.
Barni Evans, Sportsbet CEO, stated: “Sportsbet is excited to partner with the MRC, an incredibly successful and progressive club, and we look forward to bringing to life our shared ambition of attracting new audiences to racing.”
The MRC is a not-for-profit members club with over 12,000 members and conducts more than 80 race meetings annually across three premier racetracks in Victoria: Caulfield, Mornington and Sandown.
The new deal encompasses all three of these racetracks and is highlighted by Sportsbet becoming the naming rights partner for the Caulfield Cup Carnival as well as the Caulfield Cup.
One major initiative Sportsbet has committed to is making a $AU125,000 (£65,764) cash contribution to the MRC Foundation each year – the charitable arm of the MRC, housing the club’s charitable and community work under a centralised brand.
Evans added: “We’re always looking to do more for the community and we’re particularly proud to be contributing $AU125,000 each year of the partnership to the MRC Foundation, supporting local communities and helping racing industry participants.”
The pair will focus on digital marketing, customer engagement and on course activations and experiences throughout the year, with particular emphasis on key Carnival periods during the racing season.
Other key factors in the collaboration include Sportsbet offering a $AU1m prize for any horse that takes out the Sportsbet Mornington Cup and Sportsbet Caulfield Cup double in the same calendar year.
Sportsbet will also be investing an additional $AU125,000 into racing growth initiatives at Mornington racetrack.
Meanwhile, ‘world-first’ LED technology for barriers is to be rolled out early 2024, as well as investment in growth of MRC Membership. Finally, the operator will also put emphasis on enhancing the on course experience for GA customers.
“This is the most significant partnership in the Club’s history, and we’re thrilled to be working with Sportsbet, Australia’s largest wagering provider, to open up the sport to more audiences and futureproof racing on the sporting stage,” Josh Blanksby, Melbourne Racing Club CEO, concluded.
“We’re excited by the opportunities that partnering with such an iconic brand in the sport and racing spaces presents, and we look forward to introducing a greater sporting audience to our racing product through Sportsbet’s impressive market share.”