The Virtual Grand National - It didn't fall at the first fence!

April 20, 2020

Virtual Horse Racing

Here we are looking at how the right partnerships can overcome adversity in business and provide a successful outcome.

On the 26th of February 1839, the first Grand National took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool. Run over four miles and 514 yards with 30 fences to jump, The Grand National became one of the biggest spectator events in the sporting calendar not to mention the most valuable jump race in Europe. More recently, It is estimated that up to 600 million people in 140 countries tune in to watch each year.

Now, fast forward to 2020 and the race is cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. With many sporting events cancelled, many thought The Grand National would follow suit. However, not to be deterred, The Jockey Club partnered with Inspired Entertainment and licensed a ‘Virtual’ Grand National race. Inspired Entertainment has been virtually creating some of the world's most famous sporting events for 15 years.

Within an amazing three days, The Jockey Club and Inspired Entertainment staged the race live on television. By using state of the art CGI Technology and inputting algorithms for form, weight, age etc. for all of the 40 declared runners, they were off to a flying start. 

Viewers could place bets with all profits being donated to The NHS Charities Together. At 5:15 pm on Saturday 4th April 2020, the viewing figures peaked at an astounding 4.8 million. 

Potters Corner won the virtual race at a price of 18/1. But more importantly, a jaw-dropping £2.6 million was raised for charity! 

The collaboration between Inspired Entertainment, The Jockey Club and the horse racing community led to the successful virtual showcase event of the Grand National 2020 and provided much-needed support to a vital charity. This underlines the importance of businesses working together. 

Well done to all involved! It will be interesting to see how other events follow suit.

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