For years, the sports of football and horse racing have mirrored each other. Not in the formats of either game – they are incredibly different – but in the crossover between the people who engage with both. When you glance at the TV during a big horse racing festival, for example, you will inevitably see famous faces from the footballing world staring back at you, dressed in their fancy suits and dresses.

The truth is that players, managers, and supporters regularly invest in the horse racing arena. The question is, why do they do it, and what’s in it for them? Continue reading to find out more.

Leading Examples Who Have Created a Path

Horse racing is littered with examples of former footballers and managers who have been successful dipping their toes into the water of equine science. Sir Alex Ferguson is a prime example since Rock of Gibraltar, his most famous runner, was valued at over $200 million when he retired to stud. However, there are dozens of instances.

Mick Channon was a professional football player who tried his hand at training horses and has been very successful. Michael Owen, on the other hand, had a landmark moment when Brown Panther lifted the Goodwood Cup back in 2013. The likes of Stradivarius and Subjectivist may be running this year, and are ranked at 7/4 and 6/4 respectively, yet it’s no wonder footballers believe they can win such prestigious events when their peers have done it before them.

Indeed, Wayne Rooney is thought to have been so impressed with Owen’s set up that he also bought horses to be kept and trained at Manor House Stables, a yard that Owen finances.

Investment Opportunities

Footballers earn large sums and need to invest wisely if they are going to live a comfortable life once their careers are over. Horse racing, as people have shown in the past, present excellent opportunities for players to have fun and secure a steady return on investment.

The Sussex Stakes at Goodwood is a fantastic example because it’s has a prize pool of over $1 million. If Palace Pier or Poetic Flare managed to take the crown this year, their owners will receive a significant chunk of the earnings. Considering that horse racing betting makes them favorite and second-favorite, it’s not beyond the realms of probability.

Neither is the fact that football players and managers target these top performers for their potential revenues. Take the case of Man Utd manager Alex Ferguson. Rock of Gibraltar made more than $1.2 million during a stellar career, landing him millions of dollars when the dividends were finally awarded.

The Exposure

You may wonder why some of the most famous people on the planet need exposure. The answer is that it isn’t always for them, but for their families and loved ones. This is the case for Marco Reus’, whose wife is taking part in the Magnolia Cup at Goodwood this July.

Scarlett Gartmann Reus, a dressage rider, will take part in a charity competition over five furlongs at the festival. Along with other people with powerful connections, she will contribute to an event that has raised more than $1.6 million since its inception.

Helping Mrs. Reus achieve her goals while contributing to an incredible cause must be a factor for Marco, a man who is a confessed horse lover.

The connection not only exists, but it’s powerful. As more footballers and managers get involved, the link will continue to grow and prosper.