04/23/2013 12:26PM

Jockeys’ Guild, XpressBet reach marketing agreement

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The Jockeys’ Guild and the account-wagering company XpressBet have reached a marketing agreement that will allow XpressBet to offer its customers jockey-related merchandise and opportunities to meet with top riders, the two organizations announced Tuesday.

The agreement is believed to be the first of its kind between the guild and a major racing business. The guild, a not-for-profit that has struggled financially over the past decade, provides members with health benefits and promotes riders, and it has several funding agreements with racetracks. Those agreements have sometimes been reached after contentious negotiations between the group and individual tracks.

XpressBet, which is owned by the Stronach Group and provides wagering services for DRF Bets, has struck marketing agreements in the past with individual riders, including with the guild’s current chairman, John Velazquez, a leading rider. The Stronach Group owns a handful of major racetracks, including Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, Golden Gate, Pimlico, and Laurel.

Under the deal, XpressBet and the guild have agreed to work together to promote jockeys, the two groups said. In a release, XpressBet said it plans to “reward its loyal customers by facilitating meet-and-greets with riders, opportunities to win autographed memorabilia, and ‘fan fest’ style events.”