03/14/2012 : BETFAIR IN U.S. NAMING RIGHTS DEAL
Boost to 75-year old racing institution with the possibility of exchange wagering to sweeten the deal
Betfair's Los Angeles-based subsidiary Betfair US has entered into a five year naming rights deal with the Hollywood Park Racing Association.
Under the terms of the deal, Hollywood Park, a thoroughbred race course in Inglewood, California will be renamed "Betfair Hollywood Park" in what is claimed to be the first venue naming rights agreement in the U.S.
Mirroring the Betfair Lounge at Ascot Racecourse, Betfair will undertake infrastructure investments and improvements at the facility to create the Betfair Club and Betfair Lounge offering customers modern surroundings and state of the art technologies. Upgrades are subject to the confirmation of historic racing dates for 2013.
Betfair-owned American Horseracing Network TVG will produce the Betfair Hollywood Park simulcast signal and related TVG television programming to promote all events with a view to driving attendance at live racing events.
Additional promotional efforts will concentrate on driving a younger demographic to the venue and introducing that group in wagering on horse races using Betfair UK's experience where its punters are interestingly 20 years younger on average than U.S. horse race goers and punters. .
“We are deeply committed to changing US horseracing for the better and are delighted to find a partner in Hollywood Park Racing Association willing to take the bold step of trying to change every facet of the racing experience to appeal to a broader, younger audience,” said Stephen Burn, chief executive officer of Betfair US and TVG.
“Horseracing is a wonderful sport, but it must embrace cultural change and utilize advancements in technology and presentation to survive and thrive just as other sports and entertainment industries have done. We hope this is the first of many examples of using the assets of technology companies, such as Betfair, to revitalize historic venues such as Betfair Hollywood Park,” Burn added.
“We realize that US racing, and California racing in particular, simply cannot continue on as it has,” said Jack Liebau, President of Hollywood Park Racing Association. “We need to look at the way we do everything in presenting our product to the public and not be afraid to embrace change, particularly if we are going to generate a younger fan base. We believe that partnering with Betfair to modernize the product will benefit California racing. Exchange wagering is another possibly transformative technological change for horseracing. However, it will only be introduced after a thorough consultation with our Horsemen and Horsewomen and, of course, its implementation is ultimately subject to the approval of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.”
The California Horse Racing Board is considering regulations that would make possible the implementation of exchange wagering on horseracing by California residents.