Sky Bet has been confirmed as a partner of York Racecourse until 2028, under the terms of an extended and enhanced contract arrangement.
A key focus of the renewed partnership is on boosting prize funds for the races, with the scope of the agreement having been extended to include the Ebor Festival between 17-20 August.
By including the Ebor in the agreement, the total prize fund across the 12 races of the festival, in addition to all fixtures on the Sky Bet York Stakes and the Ebor pre-festival Sky Bet Race to the Ebor meetings has been increased by 23% to over £2.7m.
“Our partnership with Sky Bet stretches back some 18 years and has seen both organisations grow and invest in the sport we love,” said William Derby, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course at York Racecourse.
“This agreement sees this tremendous partnership continue through to 2028 with a record investment in prize funds across our race programme, to support owners and help attract star horses for us all to enjoy. We remain hugely appreciative of our partnership with Sky Bet and both organisations are committed to further developing and growing the racedays.”
A breakdown of prize funds will see £500,000 awarded for the Sky Bet Ebor winner – making it the UK’s richest flat handicap’, whilst the Group Two Sky Bet City of York Stakes will have a £400,000 pot.
Additionally, the Sky Bet Lowther race will have a prize fund of £250,000, alongside a further £100,000 for the Sky Bet Nursery and £200,000 for the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur, the latter having been increased by £30,000.
Lastly, Sky Bet and York will also collaborate around an ‘expanded’ Ebor Community Fund, which will direct £33,000 towards local good causes, with an application window opened for local Yorkshire charities to partner with one of the 22 runners in the Sky Bet Ebor race.
The charity partnered with the winning horse will receive a donation of £20,000, whilst additional prizes will be handed out for any runner which places, and all organisations paired with a participant will receive at least £1,000.
Lastly, the partners have also planned initiatives such as the Sky Bet Preview Evening, which will be showcased to both a live audience and across online channels, to promote the fixtures.
Michael Afflick. Flutter UK&I Creative and SBG Brand & Sponsorship Director, added: “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Sky Bet Ebor, as well as being the new title sponsor of the Ebor Festival itself.
“The relationship that we have built with York over the past 18 years has been a fantastic one and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the coming years.”
Sky Bet’s renewal of its racing commitments follows its movements in football, having entered into a pre-season partnership with Spotlight Sports Group (SSG) and building on its marketing initiatives ahead of the 2021/22 EFL Play-Offs.