Unibet has signed a multi-million-pound sponsorship deal which will see them continue their sponsorship of the Unibet Champion Hurdle, for the next five years, until 2028.
Only three companies have ever sponsored the flagship race on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival. The new deal will mean that Kindred Group-owned companies have sponsored the race since 2011, seven years as Stan James before Unibet took over in 2018. Since it entered the UK market in 2013, the Unibet brand has sponsored over 2,000 races.
Unibet will also have a fresh look Road to Cheltenham series consisting of four hurdle races, including two Grade one contests for the best two milers in the country.
The newly transferred International Hurdle is included in the series, which will take place as The Unibet Hurdle on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham on 27th January 2024. The Unibet Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on 19th November and the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown at their Winter Festival over the weekend of 25th/26th November is also included in the series, which culminates with the Unibet Champion Hurdle on Tuesday 12th March 2024.
Head of Kindred Group Racing, Ed Nicholson, commented, “We are delighted to sign a new long-term deal with the Jockey Club and further showcase Unibet’s commitment to UK horse racing. It is a huge honour to be associated with a race such as the Champion Hurdle, and we are thrilled to continue our longstanding relationship with the Grade One feature.
“We are also looking forward to continuing the new-look Unibet Road to Cheltenham Series, including the new Unibet Hurdle, which will hopefully be a welcomed addition to Festival Trials Day at the end of January”.
Ian Renton, Managing Director at Jockey Club Racecourses, said, “Unibet and Kindred Group are longstanding supporters of The Cheltenham Festival and British racing more widely, and we are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with them for the next five years.
“We look forward to the Road to Cheltenham Series beginning once again in its new format across the 2023/24 season when the competition from both sides of the Irish sea looks as exciting as it ever has.”
Neil Banbury, Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer at Kindred Group, added, “This agreement comes at a pivotal time for our sectors. Over the course of this new deal through to 2028, the landscape for betting and racing in the UK could look very different. We fully understand the concerns currently being raised by many in the racing sector about the potential friction caused by some of the white paper consultations for millions of everyday racing punters. We are keen to continue being a partner to the sport we love and are committed to continue investing in and supporting it in the coming years.”