Racing Future is determined to inspire a new generation of fans to enjoy the sport of horse racing.

The best horse racing marketing ideas

We're collecting the best horse racing marketing ideas from around the world. Questions, contributions, thoughts? Please feel free to comment below or get in touch at dennismills@racingfuture.com or by using our contact page.

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Happy Wednesday is Turning Japanese is a 2014 multicultural marketing initiative of the Hong Kong Jockey Club in conjunction with the Japan Racing Association Cup: "Happy Wednesday fans in attendance on November 19 and 26 will be treated to a traditional Japanese festival, complete with games, on-course decorations, traditional performances and a variety of delicious Japanese food and cocktails! Don't miss what promises to be two fun-filled weeks, with a thoroughly festive atmosphere and stellar on-track action!" Read more

At Saratoga, visitors could interact and touch Quarter Horse "50 Cent" who was housed in the Horse Sense tent on the race track grounds. This exhibit drew many young children. . .exactly what Chris Kay, NYRA’s president and CEO, had in mind for the Horse Sense pavilion. Kay noticed that race course culture appeals less to the younger generation than its parents. “I want people to establish that connection with the horse," he said. "I would love to be able to see a new generation fall in love with horse racing.” So rarely does a spectator sport translate into such an up-close experience. Read more

A Television series aimed at racehorse owners. When you consider there are almost 70,000 racehorse owners in Australia be it through syndicates or otherwise, owners are a tremendously important part of horse racing. Hosted by TVN’s breeding specialist Caroline Searcy, this new Australian Television series goes into the heart of horse breeding country to profile some of the stallions, mares and foals that will shape the future of racing. The goal of the 16 part series, which launches in the lead up to the Spring Racing carnival is to educate owners about what each stud focuses on to breed successful racehorses. Exploring a range of ideas from science and genetics, behaviour and training to nutrition and environment. The series also delivers the latest industry breeding news. Click here to watch the promo video

Japan Racing Association does a masterful job in marketing horse racing with the goal of growing the fan base. One initiative that is especially geared to this purpose are their Initiatives to Promote Equine Culture : "As well as organizing JRA racing, the Japan Racing Association also undertakes the following initiatives to disseminate and develop equine culture. The aim in doing so is to foster understanding of horseracing and horses among the general public and to ensure the healthy development of JRA racing.

In keeping with Racing Future's #NoFansNoBusiness theme, check out Emerald Racing Club. The club describes itself as "A fun, educational ownership club designed to introduce new people to the fun and excitement of racehorse ownership with a low-cost, low-risk opportunity." The Emerald Racing Club will acquire a racehorse privately or via claim for the 2014 racing season. The horse will be trained by Emerald Downs’ trainers Larry and Sharon Ross. Their other notable runners include 2013 Washington Hall of Fame inductee Military Hawk and fan favorite Themanwiththebigcigar. Updates are posted online weekly and via email so members can follow their racehorse. Club membership is only $500, monthly financials will be shared with the group to provide a transparent and behind-the-scenes look into the real costs of owning a racehorse. All aspects of racehorse ownership will be explained from acquiring a horse, to finding the right trainer, to preparing for its first race, and hopefully, getting to the Winner’s Circle. Racehorse costs can be prohibitive to many new owners. This is a way for everyone to get their toes wet without taking a major financial plunge into the proverbial racing pool!

Described as The Greatest $2 in Sports, EquiLottery is a new way to integrate horse racing and gaming while at the same time opening horse racing up to a new audience of potential fans - people who play lottery games. Racing Future believes that this is a critical initiative horse racing everywhere as we look to new ways to bring new fans out to the races to enjoy the sport and its many social aspects.

Founded in 1968, The Racegoers Club is now under the management of the Racecourse Association - the trade organisation representing British racecourses. The Club’s Honorary President is the highly respected public sporting figure Mike Atherton. The Club was set up to encourage more people to go racing, whilst at the same time getting more enjoyment from their racing by a greater involvement with the sport. The Club offers discounted admissions, stable tours, and inexpensive fractional ownership opportunties.

In England, during the QIPCO British Champions Series, racing fans have been given an opportunity to Share Your Passion for racing and receive free admission, which for some race meets is quite a perk as tickets can cost $100 or more as well as other free goodies such as branded QIPCO jackets.

In Australia, Country Racing Victoria’s marketing mantra is consistency and persistency . . . CRV’s marketing strategy continued to focus on collaborating with each of the country clubs to utilise the CRV branding to ensure consistency of communication to customers. Clubs were provided with financial support, resource support and branded marketing materials to effectively develop advertising and promotion for each of their events. The marketing strategy is predicated on creating promotional materials to generate significant levels of awareness of the Country Racing and in particular club specific key event days across a wide range of mediums. The CRV marketing mantra is consistency and persistency, with all communication including a customer call to action via a price offer and directing customer to go online at countryracing.com.au for more information.

Involve and educate young people: Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) held a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ Day at The Curragh Racecourse to promote interest and awareness in horse racing, among primary school children in Kildare. Over 300 fifth and sixth grade class pupils from local schools took part in demonstrations from RACE (Racing Academy and Centre of Education) and farrier, Donal Bennett. They heard talks from jockeys Jamie Codd and Mark Enright and Valet Paul Fox and local trainers James Leavy and Shane Duffy. The pupils also met Racecourse Manager, Paul Hensey who explained how the team at The Curragh Racecourse prepares for a race day. The children had a chance to try out the RACE horse simulator, to assist the farrier with his work and they even took part in a running race right on the famous Curragh racetrack. All of the children received a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ goodie bag at the end of the day and were invited to enter an essay competition based on their experience at the racecourse. The top ten finalists and their parents will be invited to the Newbridge Community Race Day at the Curragh on Bank Holiday Monday, May 6, where the winner will be presented with a laptop.

Another great marketing idea: Enter to own a racehorse with Eddie Olczyk!  Hawthorne Race Course and Chicago Blackhawk's Eddie Olczyk are teaming up to give you the chance to own a horse—yes, an actual racehorse—with Edzo! Plus winners will receive several benefits of horse ownership including an annual pass to Hawthorne, access to the owner’s lounge and a chance to show off to your friends as an owner in Chicago sports. Twenty semi-finalists will be selected to attend a racing event with Eddie Olczyk at Hawthorne Race Course on April 13, 2013. Five lucky winners will walk away from the event part-owner of the same racing horse as Eddie O!  

As Canadian jockey and 2007 Queen's Plate winner Emma Jayne Wilson shows, jockey helmet cameras give a whole new perspective to the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing. This type of technology is used in many spectator sports and gives fans an immediacy that has become standard in our society as a whole.  Also in this area is EquiSight, the vision of several graduates from Arizona's Racetrack Management Program who hope to combine HD helmet cams with GPS technology and an integrated mobile/tablet app.

Online fan Education through Night School, which breaks from the starting gate this year on Tuesday, March 5 for the first of 40 lesson plans aimed at building the sport’s customer base. Night School runs weekly though December 3. More than 400,000 viewers have accessed the first two seasons of Night School, which debuted in February 2011 and is set for a multi-media makeover this year.

In Wi-Fi network drives business growth for horse racing club Rebecca Merrett looks at Moonee Valley Racing Club and its deployment of Wi-Fi network infrastructure to help grow its revenue. Operating under a local area network, and with limited access to fibre, Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) wasn’t able to scale up its Internet connectivity during peak times at racing events, nor was it able to offer coverage throughout its entire race course. With an excess of 30,000 patrons attending a main event, congestion during the horse races was a major problem for MVRC as it prevented patrons from being able to share photos and videos of the races via social media and access information on its website. That is why MVRC decided it needed to deploy a Wi-Fi network that was able to scale up during peak times. The racing club chose Triforce’s Chris Skorsis, who has worked for Racing Victoria and has established a strong relationship with the racing club’s CEO, as its defacto/outsourced CIO to manage the project.

America’s Best Racing  is a multi-media new fan development and awareness-building platform, initiated by The Jockey Club, designed to increase the profile and visibility of North America’s best Thoroughbred racing events, with a primary focus on the sport’s lifestyle and competition.

In his piece, It's the product, stupid, Bill Finlay talks about what's been done at Meadowlands . . . "a track that was supposed to have been closed by now, in a sport many have written off for dead, business is booming at the Meadowlands. Total all-sources handle for the 2013 meet is up a whopping 33 percent. On a recent Friday night, handle was up 60 percent over the same night a year earlier. A $3 million night in handle used to be a cause for celebration. In 2013, it has become the norm. Credit goes to the Meadowlands management team, but it didn't exactly reinvent the wheel or the sport of harness racing. None of this has been done with gimmicks, T-shirts giveaways or by bringing in fading rock stars for concerts. Rather, the Meadowlands realized that it had to put on a better product." 

 

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