The Blackmore brand looks set to jump 1 million euros

Unless you’re the greatest female jockey in history, Rebecca Evans is unlikely to represent you.

Evans is a sports agent who has staked all her chips on Rachael Blackmore – having left Line Up Sports last year, where she represented Conor Murray, Kellie Harrington and Greg O’Shea.

The media-shy Dubliner and sister of Irish World Cup hockey star Nikki Evans is managing director of VOS Sport, an athlete representation and sports marketing agency which, for now, looks after a very valuable asset.

Evans, who is based in London, manages all of Rachael Blackmore’s business interests, which include senior partner Dornan Engineering as well as the Jockey Club, KPMG, Tipperary Fresh, Audi and the Lyrath Estate.

She also juggles Blackmore’s charitable endeavors, which include the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day and the Festina Lente Equestrian Learning Centre.

Like any savvy agent, Evans knows her place and refuses to do interviews, nor will she speculate on her star client’s potential commercial appeal in the coming year.

The Pitch has assessed, with the help of top Irish and UK pundits, that Blackmore’s value could reach seven figures by the time Cheltenham 2023 rolls around, with at least €800,000 almost assured.

The real value is far from the track, where she will earn up to six times her cash winnings, an 8% reduction in any winning purse.

She and VOS will decide in the coming weeks which offers are perfect for the perfect sports star, but who is uncomfortable with the whirlwind of celebrity interviews and who is more comfortable galloping than in the studio. .

A major deal was made just before Cheltenham by Rebecca Evans with KPMG, a six-figure sum with bonus payments attached.

Add a permanent betting sponsor, a sportswear, fashion and beverage partner, and even a technology or telecommunications sponsor, and Rachael’s value may exceed what any jump jockey has earned commercially during the race.

According to Jill Downey, Head of Sponsorship at Core, Rachael Blackmore can reasonably expect to earn €800,000 this year, and depending on how much work she wants to put into activations, that will jump into seven figures.

“For Rachael, it all comes down to how much time she wants to spend on the business and how many appearances she wants to make, which can be difficult given the time constraints that jockeys are under,” explained Downey.

“A lot will also depend on which big brands want to get involved in the sport – racing can be a difficult sport to understand commercially. not always the case in other sports.

“I would say she can expect to make around €800,000, and I don’t think more than €1m is out of the question.”

According to Johnno Spence, a renowned commercial agent who handles the business of Hollie Doyle and Hayley Turner, Blackmore’s Irishness is not undermining its appeal in the UK and up to 50% of its income may come from UK partners.

“Outside of the traditional betting companies and racing brands, Rachael and the likes of Hollie, which is a great comparison albeit on the flat, have broader appeal because of who they are,” Spence said.

“What female riders give you is something you don’t get from male jockeys – and that’s much cleaner brands, more appealing brands to consumers.”

Blackmore has previously worked with Bet Victor and Paddy Power, with the latter for his eye-catching Cheltenham 2019 activation, which advertised Rachael Blackmore the jockey, not Rachael Blackmore the female jockey.

A 25ft ‘statue’ of the rider was unveiled with the slogan: ‘Some jockeys have big balls – some are just big jockeys’. The fact that Rachael is a woman is certainly an inescapable attraction for sponsors.

What will be interesting is if £1.85m Gold Cup sponsor Boodles makes a bid, especially as the high-end Bond Street and Grafton Street jeweler is an attached brand. racing for more than a century.

In an interview with The Pitch, Michael Wainwright, MD of Boodles, said he even underestimated the business potential of such a winner in the “first year” of his two-year sponsorship – until let that happen.

“I still can’t believe it, in fact I wish I had predicted how big a Rachael Blackmore win would be for the Gold Cup and for Boodles,” he explained.

“The fact that I saw it with my own eyes and how such a victory could transcend the whole sport was just amazing.”


Dromoland’s shrewd investment recoups rapid ROI

ONE of the smartest deals in sport this year comes from Dromoland Castle, who have shelled out €500,000 to host this year’s Irish Women’s Open 2022.

The payment to the Ladies European Tour is believed to be a tenth of the price Mount Juliet paid to host the male equivalent, and comes before the Co. Clare resort even had a sponsor in the bag.

That will change before the weekend when Dromoland decides the merits of two rival sponsors battling it out for the main partnership, with one forced to settle for the second tier.

The Women’s Irish Open is a quirky commercial event, where the Ladies European Tour organizes the tournament, but the host is free to source their own sponsors, ensuring a quick return on investment for host venues.

Even better news for the resort is that more value will be added to the prestigious tournament if Ireland’s greatest female golfer announces she will be playing.

So far, Leona Maguire hasn’t committed to playing in her home Open, but it’s a bit early in the season and she’s unlikely to say no.

Mark Nolan, the station’s general manager, told The Pitch this week: “We’re hopeful but there’s no commitment, nor would we want this to become the Leona show.

“It’s a fabulous event for women’s golf and for women’s sport and whether Leona is there or not, it will offer so much for women’s golf and sport in general.”

Nolan is confident the resort will exercise its sophomore rights to host the event in 2023, and possibly beyond.

“We don’t consider this a one-hit wonder.”

The Women’s Irish Open takes place at Dromoland Castle from September 22-25, following a 10-year absence from the Irish sporting calendar.


SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Volleyball Ireland (VLY) has introduced a wave of measures to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Ireland by waiving licensing fees for players, coaches and referees to play and officiate in competition. They will also be exempted from the VLY registration deadline of last Thursday (March 17) and the organization will provide free training clothes and any necessary equipment to help Ukrainians participate. Volleyball Ireland chief executive Gary Stewart said: “Volleyball is a popular sport in Ukraine and we want to play a small part in welcoming and helping our new friends integrate into the community and expand their support network. .”

GAMBLING: The biggest sports betting event in the United States is expected to bring $ 3.1 billion to American colleges and universities March Madness. The tournament is currently in the middle of three weeks of competition and has been a fixture for bettors across the United States even before relaxed betting laws now allowed gambling in 30 states. With huge markets opening up across the US, online and in-person betting has already increased by 55% compared to last year’s March Madness.

PARTICIPATION: Sport Ireland has announced an initiative to get children used to a high-performance environment by opening its doors for its Easter 2022 children’s camps from April 11-22. The campus will allow children to use world-class facilities “matched only by the fun atmosphere and quality supervision”.

Further details available by emailing [email protected]

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