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Cheltenham debuts world-first ground printing tech

With its vision for British horse racing to be the best in the world, The Jockey Club has taken a significant step in its pursuit of sports technology leadership by embracing AI and robotics in its event branding activities.

As part of its delivery for The Festival™ presented by Magners, The Jockey Club commissioned GroundWOW – the developer of the world’s first autonomous, full-colour ground printer – to create a large scale Magners Irish Cider logo in the middle of the world-renowned racecourse.

Carey Weeks, Regional Head of Partnerships South West first pitched the Magners idea to GroundWOW. She says: “We’re always looking for new ways to innovate and drive value for sponsors and event partners. When we heard about GroundWOW being able to print on ground as easily as printing on paper, we wanted to be the first organisation in racing to deploy it”.

Tony Rhoades, Founder and CEO of GroundWOW commented: “Live events are often underpinned by their sponsors plus the vision and passion of the organisers. This project instantly aligned with our mission to disrupt the sports sponsorship landscape and the opportunity to work with The Jockey Club and an iconic brand like Magners has been fantastic for the team as well as an honour for me”.

“Storms Ciara, Dennis, Ellen and Jorge on consecutive weekends forced us into a rethink of how we did this,” says Weeks. “But we weren’t going to be beaten and GroundWOW stepped up with a contingency to print on artificial turf instead.”

“Their technology tells you they aren’t about conventional thinking and they showed up prepared for any eventuality,” adds Weeks.

“We are grateful to the Jockey Club and GroundWOW for offering us this innovative branding opportunity that enhances our presence and stand out at Cheltenham and further cements our role as Presenting Partner of The Festival and Title Sponsor of the Magners Gold Cup,” says George Kyle, Head of Sponsorship and PR at C&C Group (owners of Magners Irish Cider). “Deploying technology and finding new ways to establish our association with The Festival among our drinkers fits with the ambition we share with The Jockey Club in our activation of The Festival™ presented by Magners.


Image: TheJockeyClub/CheltenhamFestival