Goodwood races and Qatar strike sponsorship deal to elevate brand globally

Goodwood Racecourse has inked a 10-year sponsorship deal with Qatar, which will see the racecourse rebranded as Qatar Goodwood Festival as it looks to stake its place around the globe.

The deal, claimed to be the single biggest in British racing, will see over £2m invested into prize money for eight key races during the inaugural Qatar Goodwood Festival in 2015. Investment is set to increase year on year, according to the organisers.

Speaking to The Drum managing director Adam Waterworth said that a key driver for striking the sponsorship is to help Goodwood up its profile globally, but insisted that the brand will not change.

“Glorious Goodwood is renowned globally,” he commented. “But it was important for us to genuinely put it out there from a sporting point of view and attract some of those international runners. The world is a much smaller place now… global competition is important increasingly in racing and this was about us putting our marker down that we still are a player globally not just in west Sussex.

“[But] I don’t think it changes the brand. What’s important to us is that it takes that week [of horse racing] on to a completely different level and it should take that week onto a global platform.”

The partnership will also help improve facilities at the racecourse itself, which will be carried out in “GoodWood style” said Waterworth. At the end of the 10-year deal the profile globally of the brand will look “very different,

Hamad Al Attiyah, president of the Qatar Equestrian Federation said of the deal: “Goodwood is already one of the most iconic sporting festivals of the British summer season and we are delighted to be the title sponsor over the five days.

“The sponsorship demonstrates Qatar’s further commitment to British racing and, with such huge prize-money on offer, we hope it will help to attract international runners from all over the world as well as continuing to see the best in Britain, France and Ireland. We look forward to working with Lord March and the team at Goodwood and taking the racing festival to a world class racing platform.”

The tie-up will not affect existing partnerships at the racecourse, which include Coutts bank and Veuve-Clicquot.