PR Bucketlist #1 Royal Ascot

What are the key events that you have to attend once. Which events could your PR skills and network of contacts gain you access? This is a question I posed to my network and friends a few weeks ago.

The first entry was, however, picked for me – Royal Ascot racing week.

It was hard to ignore what with the massive fanfare offered for the world’s greatest race horse – Frankel.

Royal Ascot is a national institution and the centrepiece of the British social calendar. Each year, for the third week in June, tradition, pageantry, fashion and style combine at one of the most beautiful settings in the country.

The quality of the racing at Royal Ascot is simply outstanding, with £4.5 million in prize money on offer and a total of eighteen ‘Group’ races (racing’s term for the most prestigious races) over the five days.

Each day follows the same format with The Royal Procession making its way from the Golden Gates, along the racecourse and into the Parade Ring from 2.00pm each afternoon. The first race of six each day is at 2.30pm and the last race is at 5.35pm, after which racegoers are invited to celebrate their winnings as they sing traditional favourites, and a few new ones, around the bandstand.

Now you can certainly buy a ticket for Royal Ascot at a paltry £20-60 per day (Dhs 120-360). Or you could sponsor a box for up to £70,000 for your 40-60 best chums. But the real challenge is to gain access to the Royal Enclosure!

How to Apply to Become a Member of the Royal EnclosureAll first time applicants should apply to the Royal Enclosure Office for a Sponsorship Form. The form needs to be signed by a member of the Royal Enclosure who has attended Royal Ascot for four years or more (these need not be consecutive, but sponsors must be in the Royal Enclosure).

Applying January to June 
Please return your application for badges with your Sponsorship Form.  A receipt will be sent as confirmation.

There is no charge for sponsoring new applicants.

To request a Sponsorship Form
please call 01344 878 474 or

So, what’s the best chance of gaining access? Who are the four individuals to court?

According to Ascot’s Web site, there are a couple of UAE-based organisations that might be helpful (Godolphin and other stables excluded).

  1. Dubai Duty Free

The annual Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is one of the landmark events of the racing calendar. And, despite the fact it doesn’t take part during Royal Ascot week… would potentially place any PR lucky enough to represent the DDF in contact with various potential sponsors who could support your application.

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is Britain’s premier jockeys’ competition a unique event where top jockeys in four teams; Great Britain and Ireland, Europe, the Rest of the World and for the first time this year an all girl’s team, battle against each other in a thrilling six-race showdown.

Dubai Duty Free also sponsor other racing events including the Dubai World Cup and the Irish Derby festival at The Curragh Racecourse.

Emirates NBD Cup

2. Emirates NBD

The Emirates NBD Cup (Heritage Handicap) 2012 takes place at Ascot in July. Emirates NBD are also one of the sponsors of the Dubai World Cup.

3. Others?

Jaguar is there – they have a strong presence in the UAE and also sponsor the Dubai World Cup. Possibly Emaar might provide some good connections.

Let’s see – I’ve got twelve months to try!


About stephenking2012

In 2012 I volunteered to hold the position of Chair - Standards & Ethics Committee for the Middle East PR Association (@MEPRA_org). I have set up this account to assist in this effort. You may also like to follow my Blog or connect with me on LinkedIn. In any case, please do visit, and if you are not yet a member, please do sign up!
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