06/02/2014 4:10PM

California Chrome, sponsored by Skechers


California Chrome will be sponsored by the footwear company Skechers in the Belmont Stakes, according to the company and officials who participated in the deal, with the company’s brand being featured on clothing worn by his owners and stable team.

The deal is “probably the largest ever reached in horse racing,” according to Ben Sturner, the president of the Leverage Agency, a sports marketing firm hired by California Chrome’s owners to represent the horse. Sturner would not provide details about the deal but said his agency expects to announce other deals this week.

“It’s not that often you have a Triple Crown contender, and with California Chrome, you have a great chance to be a part of history,” Sturner said.

While sponsorship deals are not unprecedented, horses are rarely targeted by national companies for promotion, owing in large part to horse racing’s limited audience. But with television ratings expected to swell for Saturday’s broadcast, and with California Chrome’s popularity outside of the core racing audience, the numbers can start to make sense.

In 2008, the last time a horse ran in the Belmont with a Triple Crown chance, UPS reached a deal to sponsor Big Brown. The horse was eased in the race and finished last.

::2014 BELMONT STAKES: Latest news, video, and more

Skechers is based in California, where California Chrome is extremely popular. The sponsorship deal will require California Chrome’s owners and stable team to wear branded apparel in the winner’s circle if the horse wins, and the deal will stretch a month beyond the Belmont regardless of whether the horse wins, Sturner said.

“Sponsoring this horse with his uniquely California story makes perfect sense to us,” Skechers chief executive Robert Greenberg said in a release.

California Chrome is owned by Steven Coburn and Perry Martin and is trained by Art Sherman. The trio’s everyman story has boosted the horse’s popularity immensely.

California Chrome’s saddle towel, blanket, and other gear also will feature Skechers brands, according to the deal. The company’s New York showroom is sponsoring an event for the horse Tuesday night, Sturner said.

m More than 1 year ago
off the topic here....I wonder if Durkin will get any sleep this week....hehehe.... I'm sure he'll need a therapy session before Saturday.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
As long as he doesn't say Skechers and Belmont, together.
John Pisiona More than 1 year ago
They have really good footwear. Built for speed and endurance just like the horse.
jim More than 1 year ago
They took a gamble and they're beating the big money, you gotta love that....
Raymond Hackinson More than 1 year ago
Skechers seems a better fit than Crocs. I can only imagine what CC would look like in two pair of Crocs on his feet.
jim More than 1 year ago
I hope he beats all the million dollar horses....
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
Really? CC is the most valuable horse in the race.
Darrell Peck More than 1 year ago
lol sure he is now but he was the cheapest breed horse is the field by far. A real diamond in the ruff.
M More than 1 year ago
I think the nasal strips company should also be a big sponsor..
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Id rather watch a horse win with nasal strips than with all of the drugs running through the blood of 3/4 of these horses.
Walter More than 1 year ago
So true! Funny that some people wouldn't agree w you.
Darrell Peck More than 1 year ago
I like the horse but I don't think of him as a triple crown champion. To me a triple crown champ should be a horse of a great record and completely dominate in his races. Now lately that has been the case as he has been dominate in his recent races and I suppose timing is everything. Every horse has a dominate race distance and this race will be a test to see if he can run the 1 1/2 mile race. Even though none of these horse have ran that far but Commanding Curve looks like one that will love the added distance. If C.C. does win congrats to him and his trainer and jockey but I for one won't be all that excited.
Raul Perez More than 1 year ago
Commanding curve= golden soul
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
Just out of curiosity, how has he not been completely dominant? He is undefeated this year and all of his wins are by daylight. I don't know if he'll win the triple crown or not, but if he does, what else does this colt have to do to excite you?
Darrell Peck More than 1 year ago
Yes he is undefeated as a three year old and he also was just a average horse at two. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings but I don't believe in putting a horse with the likes of the top horses of all time by his 5 race winning streak. It's ok if you do but I just don't feel that way. Now if he does win and goes on to win the Breeders Cup classic then silly me. Maybe if they didn't run him as a two year old and lost all those races I might feel more excitement in him but my money says that his best days are behind him and we are looking at a horse with a few great months of racing.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
And if CC wins, you better hope he isn't unsportsmanlike and points up the score up on the score board! LOLOL
David Voelker More than 1 year ago
You got the wrong CC. Chrome will win handily because he is a freakish great horse
John Richardson More than 1 year ago
These owners deserve everything and anything they get....they are fans who let fans in. After the Preakness I saw how he cooled out and how nice a horse this guy is. Patting a triple crown winner is something I will never forget. Bring it home Crome,
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
How could they not put it on his hoofs. That would be fricken hilarious.
Phil Johnwell More than 1 year ago
I find it to be sickening how some people are so negative that I'm sure that the lost the Derby and Preekness by betting on another horse and now the only thing that they have to look forward to is if this horses looses...That's sorry..
Jim Quaker More than 1 year ago
i like the horse and hope he wins the TC , just think that there or horses in this race that or better than CC at 1 1/2 distance , but we will see
David Voelker More than 1 year ago
Amen & CC will win handily