The famous South African horse race, the Met, will henceforth be sponsored by the gaming and hospitality group, Sun International. Phumelela Gaming, along with Kenilworth Racing announced this news last week, and said that a record R5 million will be offered as prize money in what will now be known as the Sun Met.
The Met is one of South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious horse racing events, and Sun International quickly announced its intentions to step in as title sponsor after J&B ended its 39 year partnership with the event recently.
Sun International showed its commitment to its new role by doubling the prize money. A star-studded function was held in Cape Town recently, where Sun International introduced its partner sponsors, Maison Mumm, the international champagne brand.
The chief operating officer for Sun International, Rob Collins said that, given the gaming and social history of the Met, the synergy between the two “premium entertainment and hospitality brands” was immediately clear. He said that Sun International was excited and honored to be associated with this prestigious event.
“The Sun Met represents the oldest and grandest event on the South African entertainment calendar,” said Collins. “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 racegoers can look forward to.”
Also commenting was Kenilworth Racing and Phumelela who said that they were pleased to be associated with a brand of the stature of Sun International.
“The coming years will see the Sun Met become an iconic even in South Africa,” they said in a joint statement. “We look forward to the last week in January to start the journey to making the Sun Met South Africa’s greatest race.”
Sun International joins the Met in its 40th year in 2017. The race, originally known as the Metropolitan Mile, draws 50,000 people annually and is one of the ‘big 3’ races, along with the Gauteng Summer Cup and the Vodacom Cup.
Sun International, the resort hotel chain and casino destination is well established in South Africa’s entertainment market, with a wide range of resorts across the country and internationally. Some of its local properties include its flagship Sun City, as well as the Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom, the Wild Coast Sun, the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World and the Carousel Casino and Entertainment World.