Lexus upgrades to become new main sponsor of Melbourne Cup

Japanese automotive manufacturer Lexus has been named as the new principal partner of the Melbourne Cup horse-racing event through an agreement with the Victoria Racing Club.

The five-year partnership announced today (Tuesday) includes naming rights to the Melbourne Cup Race, Melbourne Cup Day, Melbourne Cup Tour, Melbourne Cup Parade and the Melbourne Cup Barrier Draw.

As part of the agreement, the Lexus Design Pavilion will be granted front-row positioning as the headline marquee in the Birdcage Enclosure at Flemington Racecourse, where the Melbourne Cup is held.

Lexus has an existing partnership with the VRC, having worked with the club on culinary and design experiences since 2003. Lexus replaces the Emirates airline as the Melbourne Cup’s lead partner.

Lexus chief executive Scott Thompson said: “The A$6.25m (€4m/$4.9m) 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.

“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.”

VRC chairman Amanda Elliott added: “Lexus is only the fourth sponsor of the Melbourne Cup in its almost 158-year history. 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.”