To find converts, ask the faithful

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.


5 thoughts on “To find converts, ask the faithful

  1. I went to Uttoxeter on Sunday for the summer cup, having attended for the last eight years i was disgusted to have my bags checked to see if i had any food in them and was refused entry till i had taken my food back to my car.being disabled i found this a very nasty experience and will not be attending here again. The high price of food and drink will drive people away, when i told staff that the poor attendance was due to this i was told if i did not like it tough .I will not be going racing again,all courses just rip people off and do not deserve any custom.That is the main reason People do not go racing but when anyone at these courses are told they say you have two choices stay away or pay the prices. £2-50 for a rubbish sausage roll is disgusting.

  2. Joe, not a bad idea, the main problem is that this game takes years to become familiar with all the conitations of the sport and as and when one starts gaining a betting edge, your accounts are closed by the enemy!
    So much easier to bet on team A to beat team B without the hazzle of three hours work sussing out the form on one race.

  3. Well played as ever Joe – anything is worth considering in the wake of the Musselburgh news and I make you right in terms of people who ‘get it’.

    One thing though Joe, I’m a little concerned about your technicolour thumbprint – please seek medical advise, you’re too important to lose to what looks like a north o’er the border complaint!


  4. You can count the good marketers on two hands around the UK racecourses. The top ones do it very well I’ll give them their due. JCR and some other tracks appear to be solely reliant upon concert revenue these days. Their actual racing product on concert days and non-concert days is terribly undersold.

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