In light of the recent controversies in sport and the use of promotional girls, PR and sponsorship agency Heavyweight Sports has created an innovative and altogether more positive initiative for Sky Bet ahead of its sponsorship of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at next week’s Cheltenham Festival.
Whilst this year has already seen several sports such as darts and Formula One address the issue of using promotional girls, Sky Bet have worked with Heavyweight Sports to instead use the walk-in of the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner to raise the profile of a nominated charity in front of the thousands of racegoers lining the walk to the winner’s enclosure, as well as the millions more watching on ITV.
This year’s high profile Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle will see the UK’s most popular online bookmaker link up with the Injured Jockeys Fund with Sky Bet not only offering the IJF the honour and profile of walking in the first race winner of racing’s biggest week of the year but also donating £5000 to the charity.
For their part the IJF have given the honour of walking in the Festival’s first winner to one of their many beneficiaries; former jockey Richard Hawkins.
Darren Haines of Heavyweight Sports said: “This is what brands should be doing to sweat their sponsorships in 2018. Putting a colourful sash on a promotional team achieves very little and, in any case, is all but invisible to your customer’s brand-wary eyes in this day and age.
“People expect companies to do more now and use their brand weight to positive affect, which this certainly does. It is great that Sky Bet are leading the industry in conscientiously breaking away from the old and tired traditions.”
Sandro Di Michele, head of PR for Sky Bet, added: “We have long felt the use of Walk-In girls for promotional uses has had its day in sport and the time was right to use this exposure opportunity more positively. This honour that Sky Bet will be providing to a charity each year will afford them some great exposure given there is so much anticipation and excitement for the Festival’s curtain-raising Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race.
“As soon as we decided this we knew that the Injured Jockeys Fund was absolutely the right charity to work with for the first winner’s walk-in and their decision to give that honour to one of their many beneficiaries, Richard, is inspired.”
How Racegoers Can Give to The IJF with Sky Bet
In addition to Sky Bet’s £5000 donation to the IJF the bookmaker is encouraging Cheltenham racegoers and fans watching at home to also give what they can to the charity. They can do so by donating on line www.injuredjockeys.co.uk
Text IJF to 70800 to donate £5