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Racing Leaders Talk Marketing at Asian Racing Conference

Racing Leaders at 2016 Asian Racing ConferenceThe Asian Racing Conference continued Wednesday, Jan. 27 in Mumbai with a discussion of the updated methods used in various jurisdictions to market horse racing. 

The Hong Kong Jockey Club took center stage as Richard Cheung, executive director, customer and marketing, updated attendees on the HKJC experiences. 

"The development of our Happy Wednesday brand continues to be a shining example of the club's gains in recent years, especially as it is a key driver in building a tourism brand popular with expats and has served us well as a popular corporate entertainment venue," Cheung said. "A visit to Happy Valley is widely recognized by various travel platforms as one of Hong Kong's top ten tourism spots, and our significant attention through these marketing programs is key to our success."

The Happy Wednesday promotion puts an emphasis on entertainment at the track: food, drinks, music, dancing, games and other entertainment options, he explained.

Among new initiatives introduced by the club is HKJC TV, a mobile television application enabling customers to watch live racing, soccer and Mark Six drawings. The HKJC has also connected offline physical promotional materials with online digital content, which Cheung identified as "bridging the gap between a traditional marketing experience and more modern methods, which serves customers in a complete fashion." 

The adoption of virtual reality gear in an effort to educate newer customers on the intricacies of racing was flagged as a unique and cutting edge method along with the use of 3D printing to create collectibles and keepsakes for racing fans. 

"Our cooperation with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council has enabled us to create racing merchandise, branded with a traditional and popular horseshoe style, designed to be easily identifiable by our regular customers and tourists alike," Cheung said.

Cheung offered details of the club's recent introduction of the Composite Win bet, an enhancement to a traditional win wager in which horses are grouped together to create a new way to bet to win while using the liquidity of the traditional win pool. 

"For example, nearly 8% of all win bets on our four Hong Kong International Races were entered via the Composite Win channel, where horses were grouped by their home region. This gave customers a chance to easily support horses in a manner similar to cheering for a home team, as you would at any international sporting competition." 

Other session participants included Vivek Jain, former chairman and now committeeman for the Royal Western India Turf Club, who described the ongoing efforts of the conference's host country. The customer-oriented marketing innovations of the Korea Racing Authority were outlined by Ben Heo, the KRA's executive director, marketing. 

Dr. Eliot Forbes, chief executive officer of Tasracing, detailed the remarkable growth experienced in Tasmania, and its foundations in a revised marketing effort. Nick Addison, executive general manager of commerical operations for the Victoria Racing Club, defined development of sponsorship partnerships around the VRC's flagship racing events.


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