Calipari uses social networks to promote WEG

Coach to promote Games through Facebook, Twitter

lblackford@herald-leader.comSeptember 8, 2010 

UK basketball coach John Calipari joined Alltech president Pearse Lyons at the Kentucky Horse Park on Tuesday. Calipari, a member of the Alltech Commonwealth Club, will promote the Games through his social networking, giving away tickets and prizes.

DAVID PERRY | STAFF

University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari will use his huge social network to recruit more people to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

With 190,000 Facebook friends and more than 1 million followers on Twitter, Calipari can preach the gospel of the Games and, it is hoped, sell more tickets, said Pearse Lyons, president and chief executive officer of Alltech.

"It took him five to ten seconds to say, 'Consider it done,'" Lyons said at a news conference Tuesday.

"That was easy," responded Calipari. "Anything that is good for this city and this state is good for us."

Calipari already has become a member of the Alltech Commonwealth Club, which allows individuals and businesses to pay $10,000 for an assortment of Games tickets and other amenities. The club already has raised almost $1 million in the past three weeks.

Calipari, who has been using his Facebook page to give away tickets and other prizes, said he wasn't sure which events he would attend.

Also yesterday, Lyons confirmed that Alltech will be the title sponsor for the 2014 World Games in Normandy, France. The deal hasn't been signed yet, but it is scheduled to be announced officially Oct. 4.

Lyons said he would pay the same $10 million title sponsorship as he did this time around, but "this time we'll go in more prepared," he said.

The 2014 Games will be held on the 70th anniversary of the D-day invasion of Normandy during World War II.

Lyons has estimated that he has put in a total of $32 million for the Kentucky Games, which begin at the Horse Park on Sept. 25.

Reach Linda Blackford at (859) 231-1359.

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