Calif. Advertisers Get Approval to Brand Race Horses

NEW YORK–Nascar may soon have competition when it comes to racetrack product placement. The California Horse Racing Board, Sacramento, has reversed a long-standing ban regarding advertising on jockey attire, owners? silks, and track saddlecloths during the running of a race.

In what is believed to be the first accord of its kind in the U.S., potential advertisers will now be allowed to cut deals with individual jockeys, owners, or trainers. Advertisers can also sell package deals that involve all jockeys or connections with a particular horse. Proposed advertising would require review and approval before a horse is entered in a race. Ads cannot include tobacco products, weapons, pornography, or any product considered detrimental to the best interest of horse racing. The size and placement of all logos will also be subject to approval, according to CHRB.

The accord must still go through an administrative review before it becomes official. CHRB says it will evaluate the situation one year after it takes effect. The issue of racetrack product placement first came before the board last year but was not approved until all parties involved came up with a formal agreement for distributing revenue, according to CHRB chairman Robert Tourtelot.

Tracks covered by CHRB are Bay Meadows, Santa Anita, Del Mar, Golden Gate, Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos, plus about 10 state fairs in which races are held.