Monster Energy Drink Deal With American Pharoah: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

2015 Preakness Stakes: American PharoahAmerican Pharoah wins the 2015 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. Want to bet horse racing from home? Wager legally with Watch horse racing 7-days a week on TVG (Dish 399, DirecTV 602). Follow on Twitter @TVG and Like TVG Network on Facebook. for details.2015-05-17T00:25:12Z

Before Saturday’s 147th running of the Belmont Stakes, Monster Energy made a notoriously bold marketing move by negotiating one of the largest single-horse sponsorship deals in history with American Pharoah.

It is well known that American Pharoah is looking to become the 1st horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978. Monster saw a strategic opportunity for good exposure and capitalized on what ended up being a fast-moving negotiation process.

Here are the facts you need to know surrounding the historic and surprising marketing deal between Zayat Stables and Monster:

1. American Pharoah Is 1 Belmont Stakes Win Away From a Triple Crown Championship



Only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown and no horse has done it since Affirmed out-dueled Alydar in 1978.

Many horses since then have won the 1st two stages of the Triple Crown only to fall short in the mile-and-a-half grind that is the Belmont Stakes. In the past 15 years, six horses have won the first two legs and failed to win the Belmont.

In 2012, I’ll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but was scratched from running in the Belmont Stakes. In 2008, Big Brown won the 1st two races only to be pulled up in the Belmont. In 2004, Smarty Jones came the closest, but Birdstone took over the lead on the wire to win by barely a length.

History isn’t necessarily on American Pharoah’s side on Saturday, but if he bucks the trend, he’ll join his spot as the 12th race horse to accomplish the illustrious feat.

2. Zayat Stables Negotiated the Landmark Agreement

Trainer Bob Baffert of American Pharoah #18 celebrates with his son Bode and Owner Ahmed Zayat in winners circle after winning the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. (Getty)

Trainer Bob Baffert of American Pharoah #18 celebrates with his son Bode and Owner Ahmed Zayat in winners circle after winning the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. (Getty)

Zayat Stables is owned by the Zayat family who have recently become one of the most successful families in horse racing. In 2005, businessman Ahmed Zayat entered Thoroughbred racing and slowly but surely started incorporating his family more into the business.

Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas, two of the greatest horse racing trainers in history, are both members of the Zayat Stables team. Together, they have won eight Kentucky Derby races — Baffert has won three and Lukas has won five.

Zayat Stables has finished in the top five of North American horse racing owners seven times since 2005, including No. 1 in 2008 and 2015. In that same time span, Zayat Stables has won one Kentucky Derby (American Pharoah) and had three Kentucky Derby runner-ups.

3. The Deal Also Affects Victor Espinoza

American Pharoah, Kentucky Derby


Monster will have it’s logo branded on hats that will be worn by members of the Zayat family on Saturday. In addition to the Zayat family incorporating the brand into their outfit, jockey Victor Espinoza will also be wearing Monster logos.

Espinoza will wear the Monster “M” logo on his collar for Saturday’s race. Jockeys usually wear the color and design of the horse’s stable, so it will be interesting to see how big the Monster logo is on Espinoza’s collar and if the logos will be noticeable on Saturday’s NBC telecast.

4. Monster is the 2nd Largest Energy Drink Brand in the United States

Monster Energy

For a long time, the U.S. energy drink market sales have belonged to Red Bull, but, in recent years, Monster as well as other energy drink brands such as Rockstar, NOS and Amp have slowly been closing the gap.

Red Bull still dominated sales in 2014, but in the last five years Monster has become the definitive No. 2 energy drink in the nation — Red Bull has a 43% market share in comparison to Monster’s 39%. Monster has become the Pepsi to Red Bull’s Coca Cola.

Monster appeared on Forbes’ Global 2000 with a $2.4 billion Market Cap.

5. This Will Be Good Exposure for the Brand



Zayat understands the importance of branding and drinks. He sold his beer company, Al Ahram Beverages Company, to Heinken for $280 million in October 2002.

In the ESPN article, Darren Rovell reported that:

Leverage Agency CEO Ben Sturner, whose company also negotiated the Skechers deal with California Chrome ahead of the horse’s Triple Crown bid last year, said Monster might not be the typical sponsor in the sport, but ‘the energy and excitement that American Pharoah has generated around the world syncs perfectly with the brand.’

Mitch Covington, vice president of sports marketing for Monster, was ecstatic about the deal. Although Monster is a popular brand, especially among teenagers and young adults, its marketing is more conservative and doesn’t have as much television recognition or appeal as Red Bull.

Before Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, Monster will be in the news, which is something it usually never is, and that’s a good thing.

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