The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 29 November 2013

Ayr Racecourse announces William Hill and QTS sponsorship extensions

By: Iain Ferguson

Ayr Racecourse has received a double boost on the sponsorship front.

Firstly it was announced William Hill have extended their sponsorship of the Ayr Gold Cup Festival by three years until September 2016 and then the QTS Group agreed to support sponsor Ladies Night at the track on 9 August next year in addition to sponsoring the Scottish Champion Hurdle in April.


[Jockey Oisin Murphy celebrates his triumph on his mount Highland Colon at the 2013 William Hill Gold Cup at Ayr Racecourse.]

William Hill have sponsored the festival since 2009 and during that time the fixture has grown in stature and this year the third and final day featuring the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup was for the first time Channel 4’s showcase meeting on the day.

The bookmaking giant initially signed a three year deal with Ayr Racecourse in 2009 and renewed that in 2011 with a two year deal that ended in September this year. This latest extension was welcomed by both parties.

The contract covers full naming rights of the Festival and sponsorships of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup – Europe’s most valuable sprint handicap, the Silver and Bronze Cups, plus the Doonside Cup, Ayrshire Handicap and Kilkerran Cup.

Jennie Prest, Sponsorship & PR Manager for William Hill said: “We are delighted to be renewing our sponsorship of the Gold Cup Festival once again, and to be continuing our now long standing relationship with the team at Ayr Racecourse. 

“Year-on-year the meeting is popular with both the punters, who love the challenge of the Bronze, Silver and Gold Cups and the racegoers, who are always treated to a superb Scottish welcome. We look forward to working alongside the course to ensure the meeting continues to be a success each year.”


Ayr Racecourse Chairman Alan Macdonald (pictured above) welcomed the extension and said: “William Hill and the Ayr Gold Cup Festival has proved to be a good fit and is now firmly established as one of the best working sponsorship partnerships in horse racing.

“By signing this three year extension both parties can look forward to continuing to work together to maintain and increase the profile of this marvellous three days of racing which is without doubt one of the highlights of the flat season in the UK.” 

QTS first took naming rights to the glamorous Ladies Night at Ayr last year and prior to that  sponsored a race on the card.


Based in Drumclog, Lanarkshire QTS was founded in 1992 originally as a tree surgeon business and now provides an extensive range of engineering infrastructure and training services to major organisations across the rail, utilities, construction and public sectors.

The group is also one of the UK’s largest providers of rail operations, working very closely with Network Rail and other major suppliers.  With various engineering and infrastructure contracts, as well as providing market leading training courses, the company is a one stop shop for most business needs. 


Alan McLeish (pictured above), MD of QTS Group commented: “We are really excited by the prospects of working with Ayr Racecourse for the upcoming year. The QTS Champion Hurdle was a great success this year and we are looking forward to repeating in 2014.

“When we signed up to sponsor Ladies Night this year we knew straightaway that this was a great social event and I’m proud to say that we will support the racecourse next year  as we continue to sponsor Scotland’s premier ladies night.”

Alan Macdonald added: “I am naturally delighted that QTS are sponsoring both Ladies Night and the Scottish Champion Hurdle again next year. It further underlines the partnership we have built up.

“It is important we have high quality sponsors to help us provide the best racing and days out possible for our racegoers. Having a major company like QTS as sponsor is a huge boost.”

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


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