The Racing Post has extensive coverage of the problem racing faces in attracting new customers. Since I first took an interest in the sport, a million words have been written in pursuit of a solution to this marketing challenge. Coral’s Simon Clare sums it up best: “Racing deserves to be more popular and racing could be more popular – we just can’t work out how.”
Well, here’s an idea…
Potential fans can be plied with every marketing trick in the book but in the end, you either get racing or you don’t. It’s not Marmite: plenty people are happy to have the odd day out at the races, but the ones you’ll hold and keep for life are the ones who “get it”.
I don’t think you can crystallise the “it” that’s to be got. I suspect that much has to do with the challenge of sharpening your skills to such an extent that you can compete with and sometimes outdo the experts in picking winners or identifying future champions. It’s a personal challenge. You can seek mentors and read Timeform and the Racing Post and watch TV analysis but there are nuances that can only be learned, not taught. Skills can be developed that are so exquisite those who possess them cannot describe them in words.
One thing I’ve noticed is that committed racing fans often show similar personalities, typified perhaps by optimism and a ready sense of humour. I’d happily bet that if we were all given a psychometric test the results would show many other shared character traits. And therein lies a potential solution.
Supposing 10,000 of us volunteered to take part in extensive psychometric testing? We’d end up with a highly dependable profile of the personality of someone who “gets it”. Armed with this data, the marketers could target those who fit that personality profile.
Worth a try? The comments section is always open on this blog. Let me know what you think.