Qipco Sponsoring British Champions Series
The wealthy Gulf State of Qatar will have a key presence at one of England’s leading sports events this year as the Qatar International investment and Projects Development Holding Company (Qipco) has signed a “multi-million pound” title sponsorship deal with the British Champions Series.
Karl Oliver, chief executive officer of the British Champions Series said in an interview that the deal “will have a significant impact on the sport as a whole.”
The two year deal gives Qipco exclusive naming rights of the inaugural series plus right of full partnership for the revitalized British Champions Day at Ascot, which will take place on October 15th. This crowning even will award prize money totaling 3 million pounds, ($4.9 million), making this the most sumptuous single event in the history of British horseracing.
“We want to raise the international profile of Qipco and the British Champions Series provides the perfect platform for the company to reach a wider audience,” said Qipco CEO Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani in an e-mailed statement. “Through Qatar Bloodstock, which owns the stallion Makfi, we already have an interest in the British racing and breeding in industry.”
Increased Interest in Horseracing is Goal
The commercial branch of United Kingdom horseracing, Racing Enterprises Ltd., hopes to use the Champions series to increase the interest in the sport in the country, which has been in serious decline in recent years. Betting income is down, television coverage is in decline, and attendance at racing events is anemic. Long term goals of Racing Enterprises is to remake the British Champions Series in the image of the prestigious and popular Breeder’s Cup in the United States and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France.
The British Champions Series begins with the Guineas Festival at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on April 30, where Qipco will be the official partner, continuing with the Sussex Stakes which will be part of the Glorious Goodwood festival in July.
The owners of Qipco are six brothers who are part of the Qatar royal family. Qipco is a private shareholding company with shares in a large variety of business ventures, including, oil and gas, real estate, health and finance industries.