Hollywood Park And Betfair Enter Into Historic Sponsorship, Marketing & Promotional Agreement

Racing News
Posted 03.19.12 at 12:03

Track to be renamed Betfair Hollywood Park in first-ever naming rights deal for a US racing venue.

Creation of “Betfair Lounge” and “Betfair Club” areas at track with major technology, facility and infrastructure upgrades.

Track simulcast signal to be upgraded with state-of-the-art graphics and TVG talent.

Proven Betfair marketing initiatives will be employed to drive younger demographics to the historic racing venue and monetize them, supported by traditional marketing campaigns on TVG and in the Los Angeles market.

LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2012 – Betfair US, the Los Angeles-based subsidiary of Betfair Group pic that also owns TVG, America’s
Horseracing Network, and Hollywood Park Racing Association, the operator of Hollywood Park Racetrack in the Los Angeles area, today announced the completion of a groundbreaking agreement intended to transform the customer experience for racing fans at the historic venue, online and on television.

Under the terms of the five-year deal, the venue will be renamed “Betfair Hollywood Park” in the first naming rights agreement ever for a horseracing venue in the United States.

Building on the success of the innovative Betfair Lounge at Ascot Racecourse in the United Kingdom, where Betfair is a prime sponsor, Betfair, subject to Hollywood Park receiving assurance regarding its historic racing dates for 2013, will make significant infrastructure investments and improvements at the Hollywood Park facility to create the “Betfair Club” where the Hollywood Lounge is currently located on the main floor of the Players Club and the “Betfair Lounge” where the VIP Lounge is currently located near the third floor box seat area. Betfair Club and Betfair Lounge will offer customers modern surroundings, access to state-of-the-art technologies to interact with the racing product and contemporary enhanced food and beverage options.

For those customers who enjoy the races on television or online, TVG will produce the Betfair Hollywood Park simulcast signal and related TVG television programming. TVG will introduce advanced graphics packages similar to those used in network broadcasts of major US sporting events to enhance the user experience and data available from the product. TVG telecasts will promote all events taking place at Betfair Hollywood Park and drive attendance to the venue for live racing. At a future date, it is anticipated that the races from Betfair Hollywood Park will be presented in High Definition television.

Betfair’s racing customers are nearly twenty years younger than the average US racing customer. Betfair will use its proven methods and techniques utilizing electronic media, social media and other new media outlets to drive a younger demographic to the venue and, importantly, interest that demographic in wagering on horse races- which has proven elusive for the US racing industry. For example, customers who purchase tickets to music concerts at the venue will be able to redeem those tickets for wagering credits in a TVG account in the amount of the face value of the ticket that may not be withdrawn until wagered.

“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 xperience to appeal to a broader, younger audience,” said Stephen Burn, CEO 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.”

Currently, the California Horse Racing Board is considering regulations that would make possible the implementation of exchange wagering on horseracing by california residents for the first time anywhere in the United States. Betfair pioneered exchange wagering on horseracing in 2000 and is the leading operator in the world.

“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 odernize 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.”

About Betfair
Betfair is the world’s biggest betting community and one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming operators.

At the heart of Betfair is its pioneering Betting Exchange, where customers come together in order to bet at odds set by themselves or offered by other customers, instead of with a traditional bookmaker. The Betting Exchange provides customers with better pricing and more choice and flexibility than competing products, which has resulted in Betfair’s customers showing greater levels of loyalty than its competitors with significantly higher customer satisfaction rates.

Betfair additionally offers a range of other sports betting products, casino games and poker. As at 31 January 2012, Betfair had over 4 million registered customers worldwide and processed, on average, more than 6 million transactions per day on the Betting Exchange, more than all European Stock Exchanges combined during the preceding 12 month period.

The Betfair Group employs more than 2,000 people and has twice been named the UK’s ‘Company of the Year’ by the Confederation of British Industry and has won two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, being recognized for Innovation in 2003 and most recently for International Trade in 2008.

About Betfair Hollvwood Park
A fixture on the Southern California circuit since opening its doors nearly 75 years ago, Hollywood Park has been the scene of countless historic races, including the legendary Seabiscuit’s victory in the inaugural Hollywood Gold Cup in 1938, Chris Evert’s match race win over Miss Musket in 1974 and triple scores in the Gold Cup by Native Diver and Lava Man four decades apart, and firsts, including Citation becoming the sport’s first $1 million earner with his win in the 1951 Gold Cup and the initial Breeders’ Cup in 1984.

Hollywood Park has also been an innovator and trend setter in California, making exacta wagering, the Pick 6, Friday night racing, the Pick 4 and the Players’ Pick 5, a 50-cent minimum wager with 14% takeout, a reality.

After a California Horse Racing Board mandate, Hollywood Park became the first track in the state to switch to a synthetic main track. Cushion Track was installed after the 2006 Spring/Summer meet and has been popular with both horsemen and handicappers. Hollywood Park ‘s surface has long been considered the best and safest in California .

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