Isle of Man based gaming company PokerStars is a proud supporter of the Isle of Man TT Races and is also the title sponsor of the PokerStars Senior TT.
PokerStars has been involved with the TT since 2007 and has been the title sponsor of a number of races including the Supersport, Superstock, Superbike and Senior TT Races.
The company also supports leading Manx rider Conor Cummins who finished runner up in the PokerStars Senior TT in 2009. Conor recorded the fastest lap from a standing start at the time in the 2010 Superbike Race and currently rides for the Honda factory supported Race team as a teammate to John McGuinness, who won the PokerStars Senior TT in 2015, setting a new outright lap record in the process. However, Northern Ireland’s Michael Dunlop broke both the existing lap and race records in the 2016 PokerStars Senior TT with a lap of 16:53.929 (133.962mph) and an overall time of 1:43.56.129 (130.685mph).
The company has also created a 'Spirit of TT' Award as part of their sponsorship. This has been developed to recognise a selfless contribution to the event’s success or an outstanding achievement.
The award, which was launched in 2010, is given to the person or persons who best represent the ethos and values of The Isle of Man TT Races. These include decency, honesty, generosity, courage, compassion, integrity, respect and teamwork. The award is open to anyone who contributes to the event, such as riders, marshals and volunteers.
Previous winners include Paul Owen in 2010, Conor Cummins for his remarkable comeback inside a year from career threatening injuries in 2011, the Birchall Brothers in 2012 and longest serving TT Marshal Eric Alexander in 2013. Frances Thorp, the secretary of the TT Riders Association, won the award in 2014 and 2015 saw joint winners in fundraiser Cici Reed, the youngest winner, and Harold Leece, the oldest winner. This year the award went to rider Paul Shoesmith and his family
The annual award is judged by a panel of representatives that includes PokerStars Head of Communications Eric Hollreiser, David Cretney MLC, the Isle of Man Government Political Member with responsibility for Tourism and Motorsport, ACU Events Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson MBE and TT rider liaison officers John Barton and Richard 'Milky' Quayle. It is presented on the podium at the grandstand ahead of the PokerStars Senior TT.