Horse passing Flemington winning post

Lexus announced as the new Melbourne Cup Principal Partner

Australia’s premier racing club, the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has announced today global luxury lifestyle brand Lexus is the new Melbourne Cup Principal Partner.

The new five-year sponsorship agreement includes the naming rights to the Melbourne Cup Race, Melbourne Cup Day, the Melbourne Cup Tour, the Melbourne Cup Parade, and the Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw. It will see the coveted Lexus Design Pavilion take up front-row positioning as the headline marquee in Flemington’s exclusive Birdcage Enclosure. 

This alignment builds on Lexus’ very successful 14-year partnership with the VRC, which has seen the brand create exhilarating entertainment, culinary and design experiences since 2003.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the Club is delighted to welcome Lexus as the new Principal Partner. 

“As the custodian of Australia’s greatest sporting and cultural icon, we are incredibly pleased and thrilled to link the Melbourne Cup with a visionary luxury brand like Lexus.

“Sharing this extraordinary event with Lexus is something we are really looking forward to.”

Lexus’ newly appointed CEO Scott Thompson said the brand is thrilled to build its association with one of the world’s greatest sporting events.

“The A$6.25 million Lexus Melbourne Cup is a truly spectacular event and the focal point of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Lexus is honoured to be announced as the naming rights partner – the VRC perfectly aligns with our values of exhilarating experiences, innovation and sophistication,” Mr Thompson said.

“Together with the VRC, Lexus will continue to push the boundaries to pioneer exciting touchpoints and events for patrons on and off course. We look forward to driving the Melbourne Cup Carnival to even greater heights.”

About the VRC and Melbourne Cup Carnival

While a racing event at its core, the Carnival transcends traditional sporting events with its unique combination of sport, fashion, entertainment, hospitality and business.

Last year's Melbourne Cup Carnival was one of the most successful ever. There were strong ticket sales, large broadcast deals with more global partners, and greater digital interaction with fans. The attraction of Flemington to sponsors continues to grow and there has been new focus on customer experience with the introduction of new precincts, for example the highly successful Park precinct and Cup Day Festival at Barangaroo.

This year will see the opening of the outstanding new $128 million Club Stand, underlining Flemington’s future as a world-class entertainment and sporting venue. 

The new Club Stand will further elevate the customer experience at Flemington, and ensure the VRC’s considerable contribution to the Australian economy continues to grow. Last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival generated a record $444.5 million in gross economic benefit to Victoria. This is unrivalled by any other sporting event in the country. 

“Lexus is only the fourth sponsor of the Melbourne Cup in its almost 158-year history,” Mrs Elliott said.

“Over the past century and a half, the VRC has demonstrated the ability to not only foster enduring relationships, but also to deliver great commercial outcomes for our partners.

“I am certain the Lexus Melbourne Cup will go from strength to strength.”

About Lexus

The Lexus story began with a singular vision to create the finest cars ever built. From the moment it launched its first vehicle, the LS 400 in 1989, Lexus has maintained an uncompromising pursuit of quality and craftsmanship alongside industry-leading customer service. 

Lexus’ Japanese Takumi master craftsmen are the guardians of an artisan philosophy, applying a subtle human touch to every aspect of Lexus design and development.

From the beginning of 2018 Lexus Australia has been headquartered in Melbourne and with a newly appointed chief executive, Scott Thompson. Mr Thompson joins the company on the back of strong sales results over the past three years.  

Lexus Australia delivered a record 9,027 sales in 2016 and a near-record total of 8,800 passenger cars and SUVs in 2017. The brand recorded sales growth in January 2018 on the back of continued strong demand, particularly for its SUV line-up. Lexus’ near-record January tally of 609 deliveries was 14 per cent higher than its December 2017 result and 7.6 per cent higher than January last year.

Lexus invests and supports emerging talent through programs such as the Lexus Design Award, Lexus Short Films and the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship. It also showcases its commitment to design via initiatives such as the Lexus Design Pavilion at the Melbourne Cup and Milan Design Week. 

Lexus gives power to the next group of creative minds while pushing artistic boundaries. 

Lexus is a truly progressive global luxury lifestyle brand.