Monday, June 6, 2011

Retains Title Sponsor of Two Races at Breeders' Cup World Championships; Expands North American Racetrack Partnerships

The Breeders' Cup and Emirates Airline today announced a renewal of their sponsorship agreement at the Premier Partner level through which Emirates, the award-winning global airline, will continue as the official commercial airline of the Breeders' Cup World Championships. As a Premier Partner, Emirates will again be title sponsor of the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf and the $3 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf. Emirates has been a Breeders’ Cup sponsor since 2005.

The 28th Breeders' Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing's most prestigious global event, consisting of 14 races and $26 million in purses over two days, will be held on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The event will be televised live on ABC and ESPN and to a worldwide audience in more than 120 countries.

As a part of the agreement, Emirates will also be an official presenting sponsor of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on ESPN this summer and fall.

In its continuing presence in North American racing, Emirates will also engage in partnerships at the following local race tracks: Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., Belmont Park in New York; Woodbine Race Course in Toronto; Lone Star Park near Dallas; Del Mar Race Track near San Diego and Emerald Downs in Seattle as an official partner. Emirates will sponsor a race at each of these tracks and will have print advertising, on-track signage and hospitality at selected sites during the summer and fall. The individual racetrack sponsorships will support Emirates direct flights from Dubai to New York, Toronto, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Emirates is also an official sponsor of the June 11 Belmont Stakes and the presenter of the True North Stakes on the Belmont Stakes day program.

The Emirates sponsorship with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships continues a long-standing association with two of the world’s most important international races. The Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, to be run on Championship Friday, will be conducted this year at 1 3/8 miles on the turf for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up. Over the years, it has produced great champions, including the outstanding English filly Ouija Board, winner of the event in 2004 and again in 2006. Last year's race was won by Sagamore Farm’s 4-year-old filly Shared Account, who defeated 2009 Emirates Airline Filly and Mare Turf winner Midday (GB).

The Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf, to be run on Championship Saturday at 1 1/2 miles, has established a tradition as one of the world's top grass races. The Turf has been won by horses representing England, Ireland, France, Germany, Canada and the United States. Thirteen winners of the Breeders' Cup Turf were later named North American champions.

The 2010 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs was won by the 4-year-old English based colt Dangerous Midge. The Turf produced the first-ever dead heat in Breeders' Cup history in 2003 when Ireland's High Chaparral and the American, Johar, hit the wire together.

"Emirates continues to be an outstanding partner of the Breeders' Cup and a great supporter of Thoroughbred racing worldwide," said Tom Ludt, Chairman of Breeders’ Cup Ltd. "The Emirates expansion of its North American racing sponsorships is a testament to its commitment to our sport."

“Emirates believes that through sponsoring Thoroughbred events such as the Breeders’ Cup, which has strong recognition and universal appeal, it will be able to connect to its customers, sharing in their passion and in turn creating a stronger bond with them,” said Nigel Page, Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations, the Americas. 

The Breeders' Cup renewal is the latest in Emirates' continued sponsorship support of Thoroughbred events around the world. In addition to its Breeders' Cup commitment, Emirates also sponsors the $10 million Dubai World Cup (the world's richest horserace), and is the Official Airline of the Dubai International Racing Carnival.  Further afield, Emirates sponsors the Emirates Melbourne Cup Carnival and Sydney Carnival at Royal Randwick in Australia.  The airline’s sponsorship deals also cover meetings at Newmarket and York in the UK, the Emirates Singapore Derby, and Godolphin, horse racing’s most successful international stable.