Why Amazon's Audible Is Cheering a Horse in the Kentucky Derby
Twenty horses will meet on the track at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
But only one of them, however, has social media support and sponsorship deal with audio books app Audible—acquired by Amazon in 2008 for $300 million. The horse's name is Audible, and according to the New York Times, his odds of winning are 8 to 1.
Although he was named after a football move (when a quarterback changes the play at the last second), and not Audible the app, the audiobook company is hoping to capitalize on the coincidence. Audible, the company, is using its sponsorship of the horse—it didn't say how much it paid—to lift sales of its own products.
"Audible is not our horse (we coincidentally share our name), but we always love a great story, as do our millions of listeners, and we couldn't pass up this unique opportunity to be part of Audible's story at the race for the roses," Audible senior vice president of marketing John Harrobin explained to Fortune. The sponsorship was Harrobin's brainchild.
The company has an entire page dedicated to the horse on its website. And it has a giveaway tied to Audible's performance in the Run for the Roses: If Audible wins, everyone in the U.S. gets a free download of American Pharaoh, a book about the Triple Crown-winning horse of the same name.
The audio book company is showing its love for the horse on Instagram and Facebook:
Audible (the company) also donated $15,000 to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, a group that helps thoroughbreds after they retire, after Audible (the horse) won the Florida Derby in March. And it plans to donate an additional $25,000 to TAA, the company said in a statement.
Audible does not own the horse; it's owned by China Horse Club International, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm, according to USA Today.