American Marketer


Wheels Up aligns with Triple Crown contender American Pharoah

June 5, 2015

American Pharoah American Pharoah


Private aviation company Wheels Up is sponsoring Triple Crown hopeful American Pharaoh as he runs in the Belmont Stakes on June 6, highlighting shared values of speed.

During the race, the brand’s name will be the sole logo worn on American Pharoah jockey Victor Espinoza, and the brand will also have placement during other events surrounding the Triple Crown Run. All eyes will be on the horse and his jockey as he attempts the first Triple Crown victory since 1978, making this prime brand positioning for Wheels Up.

Collaborating with champions
New York- based Leverage Agency, which exclusively handles sales and marketing for the racing team, brokered the deal.

American Pharaoh and his rider will be the subject of a lot of attention both at the Belmont racetrack and on simulcast coverage. Having won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, the public is waiting to see if the horse can win the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Wheels Up American Pharaoh

Wheels Up American Pharaoh placement

Kenny Dichter, founder and CEO of Wheels Up, said in a statement, “We are excited to add American Pharoah and Jockey Victor Espinoza to our growing list of Wheels Up Ambassadors. They are in great company with other Member Ambassadors including Rickie Fowler, J.J. Watt, Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews.

“Once people start to wear the Wheels Up colors, the magic happens; winners fly Wheels Up.”

If American Pharoah does win, this ambassadorship will bring even more attention to Wheels Up. Other brands have had windfalls of publicity following strategic sponsorships.

Swiss watchmaker Hublot enjoyed a publicity spree after the brand’s latest ambassador won “The Fight of the Century” in Las Vegas.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather wore the Hublot name on his boxing shorts in the ring when he won the eagerly anticipated fight against his opponent Manny Pacquiao. The fight made over $300 million dollars and was extensively advertised on social media, making Hublot’s sponsorship of Mayweather highly lucrative (see story).