American Marketer


Sentient Jet captures fervor of 2015 equestrian season in VIP package

July 23, 2015

Sentient Jet social post celebrating American Pharoah Sentient Jet social post celebrating American Pharoah


Private aviator Sentient Jet, together with its partner the Breeders’ Cup, is offering equestrian lovers an opportunity to witness horse racing history through its latest promotional effort.

American Pharoah is on the “hooves” of being the first Triple Crown winner since the Breeders’ Cup was established 32 years ago, and now the colt has the potential to capture a “Grand Slam” title when he competes at the World Championships at Keeneland, KY this October. With so much attention now honed in on the horse racing world, interest in Breeders’ Cup events have increased among affluents wishing to be part of the action.

"This is an exciting time for horseracing with the possibility of the first-ever Grand Slam if American Pharoah runs in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic," said Craig Fravel, president and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup, Lexington, KY. "With so few tickets left for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the new VIP package we’ve created with our partner, Sentient Jet, offers Jet Card holders exclusive access to the nearly sold-out event to witness the first attempt at a 'Grand Slam' title in the history of the sport, as no horse has ever won the Triple Crown and the Classic in the same year.

“With the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championship at the iconic Keeneland Race Course for the first time, we’ve seen unprecedented demand from fans wanting to experience history," he said. "Breeders’ Cup and Keeneland have jointly invested $5 million to create more premium seating that will further enhance the on-site experience for our fans and participants.

"The new VIP hospitality offerings include the luxury trackside chalets, and Sentient Jet Card holders who purchase the package will have exclusive access to tickets in one of these sold-out chalets and experience the best that the Breeders’ Cup has to offer participants."

Now the race is on
The Breeders’ Cup organizes the World Championships of thoroughbred horse racing at the end of the season each year. Held on Oct. 30-31, owners, jockeys and their horses from more than 15 countries will compete for prize money totaling $26 million.

Televised live by NBC Sports, the 13 Grade 1 races offer a large platform for Breeders’ Cups sponsoring partners and will be especially well-viewed this year due to American Pharoah’s Triple Crown win earlier this summer.

Recently, Sentient Jet returned to the cup after a three-year hiatus and will serve as the official private aviation partner for the next few years. The partnership will likely create stronger consumer relations between Sentient Jet and horse racing fans and create a platform for the aviation company to expand awareness among potential clients (see story).

To strengthen this renewed partnership, and to celebrate the successful equestrian season, Sentient Jet and Breeders’ Cup have developed an exclusive VIP travel package for horse lovers and racing fans to gain access to sold-out tickets and experience history in the making.

Add a VIP experience to your calendar. Escape to Kentucky with our package for the sold out 2015 Breeders’ Cup including 25 hours of Sentient flying time.

Posted by Sentient Jet on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

For the occasion, Sentient Jet is offering two distinct package options. The first is the VIP Breeders’ Cup Hospitality package for two, which will be awarded to an individual who purchases a new Sentient 25-hour Jet Card and includes one free hour.

A second tier VIP Breeders’ Cup Hospitality package is available for four people and will be awarded to a consumer who purchases a Sentient 50-hour Jet Card and include an additional hour at no cost.

Both hospitality packages include tickets for races on Oct. 30-31 in a trackside luxury chalet with views of the world-class races and all-inclusive food and beverage. Ticketholders will also have access to The Enclosure, a VIP area next to the horse paddock as well as a parking pass and entry to VIP hospitality lounges at the Breeders’ Cup official host hotels in downtown Lexington, KY.


Jockeys race during a Breeders' Cup event

The VIP hospitality packages are limited to the first 10 new cardholders. Jet Cards must be purchased by Aug. 14 to be eligible.

"One of the main benefits of this partnership is the opportunity to continue to offer Sentient Jet Cardholders unique luxury experiences that they desire," said Kirsten LaMotte, vice president of partnerships and event marketing at Sentient Jet, Braintree, MA. "The two Breeders’ Cup packages offer a unique VIP experience unlike any other, including tickets for an exclusive trackside luxury chalet with unparalleled views of the races as well as access to a VIP area adjacent to the paddock and VIP hospitality lounges.

"We focus on ensuring each trip is an extraordinary experience, and we are confident the special packages will make this year’s Breeders’ Cup unforgettable for cardholders," he said. "Our relentless dedication to service and safety is the main reason Cardholders continue to fly with Sentient and the benefits we are able to offer through our relationships with partners like Breeders’ Cup enhance that loyalty."

Horse play
Equestrian events, from show jumping to thoroughbred racing and polo matches, fit with the luxury lifestyle projected by brands in the space.

For example, LVMH-owned Champagne maker Veuve Clicquot outfitted ticket holders for its annual Polo Classic May 30 through a partnership with department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue.

Held at Liberty State Park, NJ, the eighth annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic combined the exciting sport of polo with relaxing enjoyment of sipping a flute of Champagne. As with most equestrian sports, the fashions worn on the sideline are part of the atmosphere of the event, as affluents who attended aimed to outdo their counterparts with elaborate hats and outfits (see story).

Also, leather goods maker Hermès continued to tout its connection to equestrian sports with a three-day show jumping event held at Paris’ Grand Palais in March 2014.

The Saut Hermès is a top level competition given its status by the Fédération Équestre Internationale, or FEI. The FEI partners with other luxury brands through sponsorships to build awareness for the world of equestrian sports, while the partnering brand benefits from being able to reach its target consumer at events frequented by both affluent and aspirational individuals (see story).

A strong partnering brand can bring additional awareness to sporting events.

“At Sentient Jet, we partner with some of the world’s finest hotels, resorts and retailers and currently offer our cardholders exclusive benefits with these partners throughout the year," Sentient Jet's Ms. LaMotte said. "This Breeders’ Cup limited time offer is a way for new cardholders to experience luxury beyond their flight.

"We do plan to continue offering new and exciting ‘on the ground’ experiences that take advantage of our partners’ offerings - be it skiing with an Olympian in Aspen/Snowmass, enjoying a world-class polo match in Palm Beach or sitting trackside at an event such as the Breeders’ Cup," he said. "Our goal is to offer our new and current cardholders unique and unparalleled experiences they can enjoy both in the air and on the ground."

Final Take
Jen King, lead reporter on Luxury Daily, New York