Saudi Cup Operations

Saudi Cup Operations
IVM orchestrated the grand debut of the Saudi Cup for Riyadh's prestigious Equestrian Club, masterfully handling ticketing, lavish hospitality, sponsorships, and seamless operations.
Saudi Cup Operations
August 14, 2023


In 2019 the KSA Government approved the creation of a new global horserace – The Saudi Cup. IVM were appointed by the Equestrian Club to  be the operational partner to deliver the inaugural staging of this race in February 2020. 


The King Abdulaziz Equestrian Fields is a beautiful racecourse – in essence built for one person – The King. The track was already world-class and a new turf track was also commissioned for the festival. Operationally it was a tough venue to operate as it was not designed for thousands of people – and there was not an established event infrastructure in place to run a global event.


The primary objectives were:

  1. Put together an operational infrastructure to run the inaugural event
  2. Help develop the racecourse to be operational for thousands of guests
  3. Develop a platform upon which future Saudi Cups could be staged 
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Solutions Implemented

Strategic Approach:

International Venue Management (IVM) brought together a team of experts across 13 different workstreams to run and manage the event. This included FM, soft & hard operations, marketing, sponsorship, ticketing, VIP guest management, concierge services, hospitality, F&B, health & safety, security, technology and guest entertainment.

Action Steps

  • For each of the workstreams it was from a standing start. Each area had to be created from scratch
  • A venue supply chain needed to be created to deliver the event and supplier relationships contracted
  • New revenue streams needed to be created (sponsors and tickets) which the club had never previously enjoyed

Results Achieved

Quantitative Outcomes:
14,000 guests over 2 days. Over 2,000 hospitality covers per day. 7 new sponsors for the event delivering $m’s in new revenue.

Qualitative Outcomes:
A new race created in the global calendar which formally became a Group 1 race ahead of the 2022 festival. Unprecedented in global horseracing.

“The IVM team ran and managed all the operational workstreams for the first staging of the Saudi Cup. They had very little time to create the event from scratch but delivered a hugely successful festival on all levels.”
Tom Ryan
Race Director, Saudi Cup

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