Jet card membership providers Wheels Up and Sentient Jet will both be using horse racing this weekend to promote their private aviation programs

 

Wheels Up said today it has signed as exclusive sponsor of undefeated Thoroughbred racehorse Justify (4-to-5 odds) as he competes at the 2018 Belmont Stakes to become the second Triple Crown winner in 40 years this Saturday, June 9. As part of the sponsorship, Wheels Up will appear as the only brand logo on Justify and his jockey, Mike Smith, covering the horse’s blanket and Smith’s pant legs, turtleneck, and boots. 

 

“It’s an unbelievable moment for us to add Justify and jockey Mike Smith to our growing list of incredible Wheels Up Brand Ambassadors. They’re in great company with other Member Ambassadors, including Rickie Fowler, Serena Williams, J.J. Watt, Kirk Herbstreit, Russell Wilson and Tom Brady,” said Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO of Wheels Up. “Once you become part of the Wheels Up family, the magic happens—everyone saw that three years ago when Wheels Up sponsored American Pharoah and he won the Triple Crown at Belmont. It’s an honor to represent another potential Triple Crown winner this year. Winners fly Wheels Up and we wish Justify all the best.”

Wheels Up membership price starts at $17,500

Sentient Jet for its part has been a multi-year sponsor of the Kentucky Derby and for this weekend’s race it is sponsoring two horses, Tenfold and Gronkowski (both 12-to-1 odds), and also promoting Homes For Our Troops (HFOT), which builds houses for severely injured post-9/11 veterans. Earlier this week Sentient said its efforts had raised over $40,000. Private Jet Card Comparisons is donating $50 for each subscription through Father’s Day 2018 to HFOT. In terms of New England Patriots love, Sentient said it has Brady’s favorite receiving target, tight end Rob Gronkowski as a customer and is sponsoring a horse named for him, Gronkowski this weekend.

 

Back to Wheels Up, trained by the legendary American racehorse trainer Bob Baffert, who also trained the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Justify began this year with three wins at Santa Anita, including the Santa Anita Derby, before going on to claim victories in the 2018 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

 

“Heading into Belmont, our team is thrilled to partner with Wheels Up, America’s fastest-growing private aviation company,” said Elliott Walden, President and Chief Executive of WinStar Farm, who co-owns Justify with the China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, and Starlight Racing. “Wheels Up is laser-focused on ensuring their members get to destinations as safely and efficiently as possible. Team Justify shares the same goals and vision as Wheels Up, especially as we aim to fly into the Winner’s Circle this Saturday.”

 

The deal was managed by NYC-based Leverage Agency, the exclusive sales and marketing agency for Justify, who also handled the sponsorship of American Pharoah in 2015. “Wheels Up is an innovative brand that is changing the landscape of private aviation,” said Ben Sturner, CEO of Leverage. “We cannot think of a better brand than Wheels Up to partner with a horse like Justify.”

 

How much does Wheels Up cost?

 

Wheels Up has been in the news quite a bit in the past year, raising over $200 million while adding the Cessna Citation X to its fleet of Citation Excel/XLSs and Beechcraft King Air 350is. The Citation X gives it a coast-to-coast capable jet, although it has yet to formally launch it into its membership program. CEO Kenny Dichter recently put a possible timeline for an IPO as within the next two years. Wheels Up owns its own fleet, but the aircraft are managed and operated by IS-BAO Stage 3 operator GAMA Aviation. Family membership costs $17,500 and Corporate membership is $29,500. You then choose your aircraft type and pay an hourly rate.

 

To compare Wheels Up, Sentient Jet and over 250 jet card membership programs by more than 65 variables, including private jet cost find out more information about how to subscribe to Private Jet Card Comparisons here.

About the Author Doug Gollan

I am Founder and Editor of Private Jet Card Comparisons, the only independent buyer's guide to jet card membership programs, and DG Amazing Experiences, a weekly luxury travel e-newsletter for private jet owners. I am also a contributor to Forbes.com