A Decade Of Commercial Growth For The Jockey Club, But Challenges Loom

A Decade Of Commercial Growth For The Jockey Club, But Challenges Loom

A Decade Of Commercial Growth For The Jockey Club, But Challenges Loom
Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horse racing that stages the sport’s biggest events, including the Grand National, posted its 10th straight year of growth.

Founded in 1750, the Jockey Club has posted ten straight years of commercial growth.  (Photo: Tim Goode/PA Images via Getty Images)

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2018 revenues jumped by 6.7% to a record £214.6 million ($276 million), the group, owner of The Cheltenham Festival, Randox Health Grand National, The Investec Derby and The National Stud, said in an emailed press release.

In the past decade, turnover has increased by 68.2%, as the Jockey Club focused on expanding its revenue streams, which include general admissions, media, hospitality, commercial partnerships, events, training facilities and breeding services.

“Since 2009 we have grown our commercial revenues consistently and that’s been vital to allowing us to more than double our contribution into British racing’s prize money, while also investing significantly in improving facilities for customers and participants across our venues, and into initiatives like free food and drink for racing staff,” said Simon Bazalgette, who has been the Jockey Club’s chief executive officer during the 10-year period of growth.

Prize money

The Jockey Club, which was founded in 1750 by a group of wealthy and influential racing enthusiasts, has since grown into of Britain’s biggest leisure companies, welcoming more than four million visitors to racing and other events held at its 15 racecourses each year.

Racing is Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport after soccer.  This is a view of the crowd during the Cheltenham Racing Festival. (Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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As the Jockey Club is governed by Royal Charter, all of its profits will be put back into the sport.

Prize money at the 339 racing fixtures held at Jockey Club racecourses jumped by 16.4% to a record £53.2 million in 2018.

“We have a really clear purpose that’s about supporting the best long-term interests of British racing,” said Bazalgette. “That means delivering great experiences for millions of people to enjoy through our racecourse venues, training grounds and The National Stud, and it means doing everything we can along the way to create value to reinvest back into our sport.”

Challenge

After increasing its contribution to prize money by a record £4.2 million last year, as well as investments in facilities, operations and the wider sport, operating profit dropped slightly to £21 million, from £21.9 million the year before. Net profits declined to £4.5 million, from £9.1 million in 2017, the group said.

High-street betting shops, a common sight in the UK, may be hurt by government plans, which have gone into effect in April, to curb spending on fixed-odds betting terminals.  (Photo: Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images)

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“There’s a lot of positive progress the sport rightly can be proud of, but our next set of results will include the first year of the impact of the changes in the gambling sector and we need to be realistic that we’re now into a time of financial challenge for British racing,” said Bazalgette, referring to the UK government’s decision to slash the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2 from £100, which threatens the closure of a host of betting shops, and could reduce racing industry income from televising its events in those shops.

“If the sport as a whole collaborates, innovates and diversifies, we can come out of the other side in good shape,” Bazalgette said.

“At our core we have a lot of resilience and we need to keep up the good work going on in growing our fan base and not lose sight of the huge role the British public has played in making us Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport. What we can guarantee in uncertain times is that The Jockey Club will do everything in our power to support the sport along the way.”

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The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horse racing that stages the sport’s biggest events, including the Grand National, posted its 10th straight year of growth.

Founded in 1750, the Jockey Club has posted ten straight years of commercial growth.  (Photo: Tim Goode/PA Images via Getty Images)

Getty

2018 revenues jumped by 6.7% to a record £214.6 million ($276 million), the group, owner of The Cheltenham Festival, Randox Health Grand National, The Investec Derby and The National Stud, said in an emailed press release.

In the past decade, turnover has increased by 68.2%, as the Jockey Club focused on expanding its revenue streams, which include general admissions, media, hospitality, commercial partnerships, events, training facilities and breeding services.

“Since 2009 we have grown our commercial revenues consistently and that’s been vital to allowing us to more than double our contribution into British racing’s prize money, while also investing significantly in improving facilities for customers and participants across our venues, and into initiatives like free food and drink for racing staff,” said Simon Bazalgette, who has been the Jockey Club’s chief executive officer during the 10-year period of growth.

Prize money

The Jockey Club, which was founded in 1750 by a group of wealthy and influential racing enthusiasts, has since grown into of Britain’s biggest leisure companies, welcoming more than four million visitors to racing and other events held at its 15 racecourses each year.

Racing is Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport after soccer.  This is a view of the crowd during the Cheltenham Racing Festival. (Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Getty

As the Jockey Club is governed by Royal Charter, all of its profits will be put back into the sport.

Prize money at the 339 racing fixtures held at Jockey Club racecourses jumped by 16.4% to a record £53.2 million in 2018.

“We have a really clear purpose that’s about supporting the best long-term interests of British racing,” said Bazalgette. “That means delivering great experiences for millions of people to enjoy through our racecourse venues, training grounds and The National Stud, and it means doing everything we can along the way to create value to reinvest back into our sport.”

Challenge

After increasing its contribution to prize money by a record £4.2 million last year, as well as investments in facilities, operations and the wider sport, operating profit dropped slightly to £21 million, from £21.9 million the year before. Net profits declined to £4.5 million, from £9.1 million in 2017, the group said.

High-street betting shops, a common sight in the UK, may be hurt by government plans, which have gone into effect in April, to curb spending on fixed-odds betting terminals.  (Photo: Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images)

Getty

“There’s a lot of positive progress the sport rightly can be proud of, but our next set of results will include the first year of the impact of the changes in the gambling sector and we need to be realistic that we’re now into a time of financial challenge for British racing,” said Bazalgette, referring to the UK government’s decision to slash the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2 from £100, which threatens the closure of a host of betting shops, and could reduce racing industry income from televising its events in those shops.

“If the sport as a whole collaborates, innovates and diversifies, we can come out of the other side in good shape,” Bazalgette said.

“At our core we have a lot of resilience and we need to keep up the good work going on in growing our fan base and not lose sight of the huge role the British public has played in making us Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport. What we can guarantee in uncertain times is that The Jockey Club will do everything in our power to support the sport along the way.”

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