Sun International unveiled as The Met’s new sponsor

Nicky van der Walt, Lee-Ann Liebenberg and Michael Farr enjoying the event
Nicky van der Walt, Lee-Ann Liebenberg and Michael Farr enjoying the event

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n 1883, a fleet-footed horse named Sir Hercules galloped into the history books by winning the first-ever Metropolitan Mile horserace in Cape Town. Since then, ‘The Met’ has grown in stature and size to become South Africa’s oldest horse race, and one of its most prestigious.

From its earliest years, when people attended the race dressed in their finest to see and be seen, it has been a firm favourite with the public, coming to symbolise the essence of glamour and sophistication. Today the 133-year old race is firmly established as a highlight on the social calendar.

Earlier this year when it was announced that the sponsor would be ending its 39-year association with The Met, Kenilworth Racing and Phumelela Gaming began looking for a new sponsor.

Sun International – event owner

Luxury hospitality, gaming and entertainment group Sun International was quick to take up the reins as the title sponsor of the race. Sun International Chief Operating Officer Rob Collins says:

“Given the gaming and social history of The Met, the synergy between our two premium entertainment and hospitality brands was immediately clear. Sun International is therefore delighted and honoured to be associated with this prestigious event.”

For well over 30 years Sun International has provided South Africans with big, bold, slick, and efficiently organised entertainment events. The company is respected for its ability to host large-scale events that have both a national and international following, such as the Nedbank Golf Challenge, Miss South Africa, and others. This expertise bodes well for the future of The Met under its new name – The Sun Metcelebrated with Mumm.

Discussing the future of The Sun Met celebrated with Mumm, Collins says: “The Met represents the oldest and grandest event on the South African entertainment calendar.  What we can promise is that we will bring elegance, sophistication, glamour and excitement to the event, and there will be so much more that race goers can now look forward to.”

Maison Mumm – Presenting Sponsor

Mervyn Naidoo and Cindy Nel
Mervyn Naidoo and Cindy Nel

Adding its own touch of glamour and elegance to The Sun Met celebrated with Mumm is iconic international champagne brand Maison Mumm, who has also come on board as the presenting sponsor. The brand forms part of Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët, the prestigious cognac and champagne business of Pernod Ricard.

“As an innovative House celebrating the most daring achievers, Maison Mumm prides itself with a long history in the field of horse-racing. From our founders’ passion for racing in the 19th century to our partnership with the Melbourne Cup in Australia and the Kentucky Derby in the USA, Mumm has always been an icon of victory – celebrating the most intense sporting achievements. We are thrilled to have partnered with Sun International to bring our prestigious and iconic celebration to The Met and set a new beacon of excitement on the South African calendar.” says Maison Mumm Brand Manager Etienne Cassuto.

Circa – Hospitality and Infrastructure Partner with Sun International

Alongside Sun International and Maison Mumm, is Circa, the company specialises in hospitality, providing quality event management and memorable and successful events.  In partnership with Sun International, Circa brings its usual exclusive, high quality flair to this prestigious event.

Circa CEO Lee Thomas says, “We are excited and honoured to play an instrumental part in introducing The Sun Met celebrated with Mumm, with its emphasis on elegance, and commitment to the glamour long associated with the event”.

Race sponsors – Investec, Klawervlei and Cape Thoroughbred Sales

“Investec, Cape Thoroughbred Sales and Klawervlei have a strong relationship and a rich, global history in racing. The Sun Met celebrated with Mumm provides the perfect home for our races. Being in the company of such internationally recognised and respected brands is exciting, the event is set to establish a new level of entertainment on the South African calendar”, Adjunct Professor Raymond van Niekerk, Investec, CTS and Klawervlei sponsorship adviser.

Race partners – Kenilworth Race Course, Phumelela Gaming and Tellytrack

Rob Collins, Madam Mayor de Lille and Paul Scanlon
Rob Collins, Madam Mayor de Lille and Paul Scanlon

Phumelela Gaming and Kenilworth Racing are delighted to announce that luxury hospitality, gaming and entertainment group Sun International is the new title sponsor of the Met, which henceforth will be run as The Sun Met celebrated with Mumm and will carry South African record prize money of R5 million.

In 2015, the event was supported by 390 horse racing related staff and a further 1 500 service staff on the day.

Commenting on behalf of the industry, in association with Kenilworth Race Course and Phumelela Gaming as race partners, Tellytrack CEO Rob Scott said, “We are so pleased to be associated with a brand of the stature of Sun International. The coming years will see The Sun Met celebrated with Mumm become an iconic event in South Africa. We look forward to the last weekend in January to start the journey to making The Sun Met celebrated with Mumm SA’s greatest race.”

The Sun Met celebrated with Mumm, will be one of the most valuable daysr of racing in Africa. For the Western Cape, it is a highlight on Cape Town’s entertainment calendar, as well as an economic boost for city. Last year, the city announced that the Met draws over 22 000 visitors, generating approximately R60-million.

Text: Capacity Relations