Unibet have always been one of the busiest operators when it comes to sports sponsorship and getting behind teams and individual events. Football is a big focus but the company reaches beyond the mainstream sports with sponsor deals involving darts, cricket, cycling and many more. But with the Epsom Derby race card getting more and more interesting every year, it has caught the attention of giants in the industry. As part of their sponsor outreach, Unibet have backed some of the biggest sporting events on the calendar and in 2017, they agreed a deal to support one the most historic horse races of all time - the Investec Derby.
Three Year Backing
The agreement, announced in April 2017, saw Unibet sign up as the official betting partner not only of the Derby, but of the Investec Derby Festival as a whole. The arrangement was for three years, starting in 2017 and running through to 2019. Additionally, Epsom Derby Betting has created a culture on it's own.
At the time, it was stated that over £60 million was expected to be staked on the Investec Derby alone but while it’s nice for Unibet to be linked to such a prestigious event, the support given to the Investec Derby is vitally important - a fact acknowledged at the time.
Tony Langenegger, London Region Sponsorship Manager for the Jockey Club said at the time: “We’re thrilled to welcome Unibet as the new official betting partner for the Investec Derby Festival in this three year deal.” Mr Langenegger went on to state that the event carried a £1.5m prize fund ahead of another great contest and it’s important for all commercial partners to help sustain one of the nation’s best-loved sporting events.
History and Legacy
In more than 200 years of racing, the Epsom Derby has played host to some of the greatest jockeys, trainers and horses in the sport’s history. Known as the Investec Derby in the modern era, its leading jockey of all time is the great Lester Piggott whose record of nine wins spanned an incredible 29 years from Never Say Die in 1954 through to Teenoso in 1983.
In between those times, Piggott’s mounts included Roberto, Nijinsky and The Minstrel, three of the most famous race horses ever to grace a track.
Elsewhere, three men jointly hold the record as leading trainer with seven wins but they could soon be joined by Aidan O’Brien. One of the greatest trainers of any generation, O’Brien has six Investec Derby triumphs and saddled 40/1 outsider Wings of Eagles to victory in 2017.
British royalty is also at the heart of the Investec Derby Festival and while our present Queen has yet to win the big race, the Royal Family have enjoyed success ever since the Prince of Wales provided 1788’s Derby winner, Sir Thomas. What we therefore have is an historic event and it’s down to the organisers and sponsors to preserve the Derby’s precious legacy. In part, that work can be carried out by maintaining its status as Britain’s richest horse race, thereby ensuring that the best horses continue to descend on Epsom on the first Saturday in June.
“The Investec Derby remains the most prestigious flat race in the world. It is a British institution whose history and tradition resonate around the globe and Unibet are honoured to be associated with an iconic race.”
Those words neatly sum up Unibet’s proud commitment to the Investec Derby Festival and its ongoing success.