Nike may have golfing great Tiger Woods as a company spokesman but Youbet.com Inc. (UBET) has John Campbell.
John Campbell, the harness racing driver.
Last week, Youbet announced it had renewed its landmark endorsement contract with Campbell for the 2005 racing season. Campbell is harness racing’s all-time leading money earner who, along with a group of fellow drivers, broke new corporate sponsorship ground last year by featuring Youbet advertising on his uniform.
The company, which is the largest Internet provider of racing and wagering content, has been making a concerted effort to build its harness racing business. Using Campbell’s name recognition as part of a major advertising campaign helped introduce bettors to the standardbred sport.
The wearing of a commercial name on a harness driver’s clothing is not controversial as it is in thoroughbred racing. A harness driver wears the same recognizable silks for every race whereas jockeys wear the silks owned and provided by the owner of the horse.
In 1991, horses driven by Campbell won purses worth more than $11.6 million about a half-million more than his previous record set in 1989. Prior to last year, Campbell had won 9,265 races, placing him seventh among all drivers.