Irish Greyhound Racing is celebrating its biggest sponsorship of recent years, with the announcement that BoyleSports have signed a 3-year agreement worth €1 million in prizemoney to Greyhound Owners, Trainers and Breeders.
The new agreement will see BoyleSports, Ireland’s largest independently-owned bookmaker, renew their title sponsorship of the Irish Greyhound Derby. Ireland’s biggest Greyhound Racing event, the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby runs through August and September at Shelbourne Park, and attracts Greyhound audiences from across the globe. The 3-year agreement secures sponsorship of the event through 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The bookmakers have also committed to title sponsorship of another important Classic event, the Champion Stakes, which is also run at the Dublin venue in July and August. Both events run over the 550yd distance, and drawing to a close just in time for the Derby, the Champion Stakes attracts many big names as the perfect entrée to our greatest competition. The Champion Stakes sponsorship is based on an initial 1 year term with the option to renew for a further 2 years.
Alongside the two high-profile events, BoyleSports will also sponsor 12 additional sweepstake events and 40 ‘Getting Out Races’. The sweepstakes will cater for a variety of grades and distances and will be scheduled to ensure that there is no more than one per month, maximising Greyhound Owners and Trainers opportunity to participate in the events.
Speaking at the announcement Phil Meaney, Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, said “John Boyle’s passion for Greyhound racing is evident to all involved in the sport. Through his company, BoyleSports, he has been a long-time supporter of the Irish Greyhound Industry, where he has not only lent financial support to major events but also helps us to increase our reach through the strength of their brand.
Today’s announcement brings that passion and belief in our sport to the next level with what is his biggest Greyhound sponsorship to date. Through this commitment, BoyleSports will be helping us to deliver €1 million in Prizemoney to the Greyhound Owners, Trainers and Breeders over the next 3 years, news which I’ve no doubt will be very welcome to the Greyhound public.”
John Boyle, the chief executive of BoyleSports, said: “We are thrilled to announce BoyleSports will be committed to Irish Greyhound Racing for the next three years in a sponsorship deal worth over one million. We are very committed to Irish sport and this partnership with the IGB, cements BoyleSports position as the biggest supporter of Irish greyhound racing sponsoring two of the most prestigious events on the calendar, the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby and the BoyleSports Champion Stakes.”
Referring to the announcement, Minister of State for Food Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle said:
“The greyhound racing sector is part of the fabric of the Irish sporting scene. It enjoys the support of people all over Ireland who are passionate about it, and provides significant public good, both as a social outlet and as a provider of vital employment, especially in rural areas.
In Government we will continue to provide financial support to the sector. However, Bord na gCon is a commercial enterprise , and the greyhound racing sector could not survive without the commitment of its Board and staff, or of owners, breeders, trainers and fans and the ongoing support of sponsors. In this regard I want to thank BoyleSports for its continued commitment to the sport of Greyhound Racing. I also want to congratulate Bord na gCon on concluding this deal which will provide the kind of funding which is the lifeblood of the sector over the next three years.
The Irish Greyhound Derby is the top event in the Irish Greyhound racing calendar and is run in August and September each year in Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium in Dublin. It is run over a distance of 550 yards. A total of €288,000 prizemoney is on offer in 2017, a 20% increase on 2016 figures. 2017 Irish Greyhound Derby Final – Prize Money Breakdown
Winner €150,000 Second €27,000 Third €15,000 Fourth €9,000 Fifth €9,000 Sixth €9,000
The first ever Irish Greyhound Derby was run in another Dublin venue, Harold’s Cross, in 1928. In 1932 the event was given Classic (Nationwide) status and was first run in Shelbourne Park. It was then alternated between the two venues, with the exception of 1939 and 1942 when it ran in Limerick and Cork respectively. Since 1970, Shelbourne Park has been the permanent home for the Irish Greyhound Derby.
In 2014, BoyleSports were announced as sponsors of the Irish Greyhound Derby, in a 3 year agreement to 2016.
In 2016, RTE 2 extended their coverage of the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby with both the Semi-Finals and Finals broadcast live across 3 hours on both TV and online to a global audience.
The 2016 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby was won by Rural Hawaii. Owned by Michael & Helen O’Dwyer (Hawaii & Clonmel), and trained by Tipperary based trainer, Graham Holland, Rural Hawaii won the Final in a time of 29.65.
The 2017 BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby will run in Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium from Thursday 17th August through to the Final on Saturday 23rd September.