Monster Energy has placed its bets on American Pharoah ahead of the thoroughbred’s efforts to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. The New York Post reported the news Wednesday, with Ben Sturner of Leverage Agency, who facilitated the deal, telling the publication the seven-figure sponsorship deal marks the “biggest in the history of horse racing.” The announcement arrives just days before the Belmont Stakes, in which American Pharoah is currently a 3-5 favorite to win the race.
Monster’s logo will be featured on American Pharoah’s barn, fly sheet, and jockey Victor Espinoza’s ascot on Saturday, but Mitch Covington, Monster’s Vice President of Sports Marketing called the horse “a superstar in the making,” adding that the sponsorship runs deeper than just draping the Monster logo on American Pharoah.
“We become a true part of every sport we’re in – not just a corporate sponsor that hangs banners,” Covington said.
But not everyone’s sold the partnership will pay off. Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli said Wednesday that the pairing of Monster and horseracing was a bit of a longshot.
“Monster, this extreme brand, it’s very much a youth brand. It’s kind of spur the moment,” Santoli said. “Horseracing demographics, it’s a pretty sedate group, it’s an older group.”
The deal marks Monster’s first sponsorship of an animal, but comes as just the latest example of ongoing efforts from the company to further its presence in sports. In March, Monster became the official energy drink of the Ultimate Fighting Championship after years of sponsoring its fighters individually.