Ascot Racecourse has announced it has signed a five year agreement with the preeminent international horseracing media rights agency, HBA Media.

The deal, which will see HBA Media market Ascot’s global media rights, becomes active with immediate effect and sees the horseracing media rights agency become responsible for the distribution of Ascot’s non-betting international media rights portfolio, including Royal Ascot, as well as all Flat and National Hunt Racing with the exception of QIPCO British Champions Day.

Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer at Ascot, welcomed the new relationship: “HBA Media’s business model clearly displays an unrivaled knowledge and understanding of international media rights within the horseracing sector; and we are delighted to have appointed them to market our global media rights. We are confident that Ascot will benefit hugely from this exciting new venture.”

Henry Birtles, Chief Executive of HBA Media, added: “These are very exciting times for horseracing, with the emergence of so many new platforms and opportunities, through which we can now promote our great sport to the audiences we have all strived to reach.

“To have Ascot on our books represents ‘a pinch me moment’ and we cannot wait to get going. With sports rights, the power is in the collective and we can now leverage sales for individual clients through the growing collection of showcase international races HBA Media has the honour of representing.

“Ascot is a global brand and being associated with the racecourse is a true privilege.”

The agreement is the latest announcement by the Racecourse and follows on from the December decision to boost the prize money available at Royal Ascot 2020.

The decision, which was taken with the intention of ‘incentivising’ those competing, will see 16 of the 30 races taking place at the Royal meeting see an increase in prize money, with no race due to be run for less than £95,000.

At the time, Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot, commented: “It is vitally important to continue to incentivise and reward connections of top-class horses trained at home, in Europe and further afield to run in Britain.

“A recent report commissioned by British Racing’s Public Affairs Group, titled British Horseracing’s International Influence, highlighted how important events like Royal Ascot are to the brand and resonance of British racing.

“It is a significant factor in creating demand at the sales, attracting sponsorship, investment in studs and horses in training, growing global television coverage, creating worldwide betting initiatives (like World Pool with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and UK Tote in 2019) and opening up opportunities for inward investment in our sport.

“Ascot is very fortunate to have such a strong annual programme, with nine Group One races outside QIPCO British Champions Day, and we are committed to making them as appealing as possible to horsemen from across the globe.”

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