Just as in a race, horse racing remains in the barriers. The same old perceptions of the sport still remain. The same scandals plague it. And those new to the sport believe all they read- especially the bad stuff. We’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t admit this. And address it. And fight to change the way things have been and still are.
Horse racing also still remains on the back pages of newspapers- the racing pages. It only makes the front pages for all the wrong reasons and with horse racing remaining the whipping boy of sports. Or is it being the easy scapegoat? If so, what can be done about this?
To many, horse racing is still the bast**d child of sports. To some, it isn’t even a sport and jockeys are not “real athletes”. And ping pong is a sport? As is archery? Horse racing at the Olympics? Why not? Surely, there’s a way to make this happen? It will certainly make for more exciting viewing than ping pong, badminton and canoeing etc.
Today, at a time of a worldwide economic crisis, horse racing is another industry to face the backlash. But it’s not all gloom and doom and the naysayers in racing need to think twice before carrying “The End Is Nigh” posters.
Horse racing, as an industry, is in a far healthier state than, for example, the music industry. The latter, however, has showbiz and razzle dazzle to prop it up and cover up the pock marks.
In fact, there is so much horse racing can learn from the music industry- especially the many mistakes it made by not embracing new technology and instead having never-ending useless meetings while consumers embraced all forms of social media and discovered file-sharing- legal and illegal- and let the genie out of Pandora’s Box.
Ironically- and looking forward- the racing industry can even help “rescue” the music industry- and not only by bringing a little ‘live’ music to racetracks. That’s just one baby step. Most race tracks have the infra-structure and venues to do so much more with music and music-associated business partners and by so doing, attract a brand new- and younger- group of race-goers.
The television industry- also under attack from online channels- legal and illegal- needs the more consumer-based aspects of horse racing- whereas the broadcasting of horse racing on television needs to push the creative and production envelope when it comes how these races are shown. Today’s viewers have little patience for anything and so, a bigger picture- literally- must come out of this envelope.
This is where those marketing the sport need to remove the blinkers and look beyond the obvious and understand the wants and needs of today’s consumers- and how to deliver what they want, when they want it. Only by so doing will The Big Picture become clear.
Only by so doing will also horse racing be able to effectively connect with a new generation of racegoers and horse owners.
Only then will horse racing also be seen with new eyes by new business partners- and all the celebrities associated with their products.
Only through New Thinking and approaching old problems with new solutions will horse racing get the support of governments and lawmakers so that ignorant red tape never stops progress.
Only then will horse racing grow up and be recognized as a powerful and exciting spectator sport and part and parcel of the wide world of entertainment.
What does horse racing need to do to reach this point?
How does horse racing change old-fashioned perceptions of the sport?
By using all of the sport’s strengths. And there are far more strengths than many might think.
Strengths like these “ads” below- baby steps on the surface, but with each being “the mother ship” for thousands of other ideas. It just needs people who can see what’s there and then be inspired to think and look beyond the obvious.