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Keep It Social and It’ll Sell Itself

As an on-course (and soon to be Online) bookie who just falls out of that target age bracket I’m over the moon to see that racing isn’t standing still in it’s efforts to get younger people through the door but I can’t help but feel the initial advert isn’t what’s needed.

The beauty of British Racing is the variety and depth of differences that can be experienced on different days at different tracks. It’s true racing really can be everyone’s turf. One of the joys of bookmaking is the interactions you have with the vastly different characters you meet on the racecourse and each of those tracks has it’s own nuances that can vary day to day.

Last week I didn’t attend Royal Ascot but instead went to Ffos Las and Goodwood. The meetings were polar opposites in terms of the action on track (one being jumps, the other flat) and more strikingly than that, the type of crowd in attendance.

Ffos had a good crowd of what you’d call ‘jumps fans’ the average bet was high and they were there for the racing. Goodwood was hosting the last of it’s 3 Friday nights that have been a huge success in attracting a younger audience with various DJ’s playing after racing.

The Goodwood crowd had sold out, there were loads of people there that would exactly fit the profile that ‘everyones turf’ is trying to reach. Very few of the lads had socks on and even fewer of the girls were wearing bras. Everywhere you looked people were posing for instagram shots and Goodwood is exactly what you’d picture when you say a “good for the gram” experience.

I guess the point I’m trying (poorly) to make is that the racing product is enough. The sport is compelling, the ‘people watching’ is fascinating, there’s a togetherness that you can only experience at live events and racing is incredibly accessible in terms of closeness to the action with it’s stars both equine and human.

To me this is what needs to be sold and I feel the way to sell it is not through expensive polished ads but by using that 1.6 million to subsidise a reduction in entrance fees, improve facilities, make the food affordable and even dare I say it ‘instagramable.’

Get those young people through the door with free entry and provide the service and facilities they expect and they’ll sell it for you on their own social media feeds.

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