Sports
Jun 3, 2014; Elmont, NY, USA; California Chrome is led in the barn by exercise rider Willie Delgado after a morning workout in preparation for the 2014 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports - RTR3S06G Jun 3, 2014; Elmont, NY, USA; California Chrome is led in the barn by exercise rider Willie Delgado after a morning workout in preparation for the 2014 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports - RTR3S06G  

California Chrome Inks Deal With Major Human Shoe Company

Sketchers shoe company has reached an endorsement deal with potential triple crown winner California Chrome. As the horse is heading into his last race at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, the footwear giant will have its branding all over Chrome’s team.

While the monetary amount was not disclosed, it is known that the apparel of the horse’s handlers, the team members and the horse blanket will all be required to carry Sketchers branding. Sketchers will also be able to use California Chrome in marketing for a month after the race, reports ESPN.

Sketchers Chief Executive Robert Greenberg said they don’t care that the horse itself can’t wear the footwear; it’s about targeting the typically 50-60 year old audience for horse races. He said, “Nike is religion for a lot of kids, so it’s a tough market to break through. We’re going after an older audience.”

The company has recently roped in Joe Namath and Pete Rose to endorse their shoes. They plan on spending $175 million on marketing in 2014 alone. Greenberg said, “We’re a marketing company that just happens to be in the footwear business. We’re spending a couple bucks to the roll the dice and if this horse wins it all, we’ll be part of it.”

The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed, in 1978.

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