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The excellent blog R2Collective has yet another insightful post on the challenges that racing must address if it wants to find new fans and enlarge its appeal among fun- and excitement-conscious youth.

The blog begins with a discussion of singer Katy Perry and how she and her team of promoters use interactive media as a way to involve fans in everything they do. Katy Perry is the IT GURL of today because she understands what moves her audience and she gives it to ‘em. It ain’t art, but it’s damned smart marketing.

We don’t have much of that among the suits in boardrooms who make the decisions that committees carry out … and that result in nothing year after year.

Racing does not have to be stuck in this mire, but it is. And a large part of the reason is this:

About a decade ago, a friend of mine made a detailed proposal to the NTRA about developing an interactive site with videos, profiles, stats, etc. about the top racehorses of each year, their owners, breeders, etc.

This was years ahead of YouTube and other forms of social media, but the proposal was well thought out and would have melded seamlessly into that entire program of interactivity.

When this was presented to the NTRA board, little Timmy Smith, that overpaid nonfriend of racing, killed it because it didn’t appeal to HIM. When my friend urged some of the other high-ranking members of the NTRA board to consider the merits of the website development after the meeting, word was passed back to little Timmy, who essentially managed to run the idea’s originator out of his job and largely out of the industry.

That is the attitude that we are all struggling against.

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