Promoting Curlin

You can’t say that NYRA doesn’t listen to its critics. After being called out roundly for failing to promote Curlin’s appearance in the Man o’War at Belmont in July, it took steps forward at Saratoga in August, creating a number of PR events to call attention to the big chestnut’s appearance in the Woodward on Labor Day weekend.

This week, it goes further, with much of the NYRA website devoted to all things Curlin, and while I’m not sure how many folks outside of the dedicated racing fan the campaign is reaching, it does appear that NYRA is trying to take advantage of a variety of resources to promote the Curlin’s second appearance in the Jockey Club Gold Cup this weekend. Curlin leads the older horse division, according to the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance rankings.

NYRA writer Jenny Kellner has provided a couple of promotional graphics, one of which seems designed for the rookie race fan:

I find the second the more interesting, comparing as it does Curlin to Cigar, the horse whose lifetime earnings Curlin will overtake with a win this weekend:

Both are available at Curlin’s Corner, begun at Saratoga, which offers fans a variety of ways to indulge in Curlin Mania: one can find there exactly the sort of information that we should have readily available for all horses: career past performances; video of all of Curlin’s races; tech gifts like wallpaper and four Woodward related podcasts; workout information; and broadcast information on the race (locally, MSG+, channel 48 on Time Warner Cable).

I have not yet, I confess, had a chance to read and digest the NTRA Online Marketing Task Force Report, to which Jessica at Railbird; Dana at Green but Game; Lisa at Superfecta; Alan at Left at the Gate; Kevin at The Aspiring Horseplayer; and Patrick at Handride et al. contributed, but I suspect that their ideas about marketing racing go far beyond creating a website with information about a marquee horse. That said, Curlin’s Corner is a step in the right direction; this website is the 20th item in a Google search result for “Curlin”; the main NYRA webpage comes up ninth in a search for “Curlin Jockey Club Gold Cup.”

Getting people to the website allows NYRA to advertise its stadium seat giveaway that day; to promote a $5 Curlin t-shirt whose sales will benefit Backstretch Employee Service Team; and to announce its YouTube channel, currently featuring “Trips and Traps,” Eric Donovan and Andy Serling’s race re-cap and analysis show. I’ve long been a fan of the NYRA website; it’s easy to navigate and it offers a variety of information, from the history of races, to well-written news articles, to current racing/meet statistics. Increasing the traffic to the site seems to me to be essential to increasing the attendance, and thus the handle. It will be interesting to see what the new NYRA marketing VP, whoever he or she may be, will bring to the promotional table this winter.

And speaking of (self) promotion, what I guess is a significant milestone passed last week without my having noticed: a week ago today, on September 17th, Brooklyn Backstretch marked its first birthday. 372 days and 333 posts ago, we launched. Thanks to all of you who have read, e-mailed, commented, and said hello. It’s been more fun than I could have imagined, and here’s to Year Two…

7 thoughts on “Promoting Curlin

  1. Hi TeresaI enjoy your writings very much, very interesting and it my computer or do all your great photos only appear as 1/2 shots because your writing column is so narrow?anyway..congratsJennifer

  2. Congratulations on your year of blogging! It’s been a great read and I’ve enjoyed all the historical information you have included as well as the current news. Thank you!txhorsefan

  3. Thanks, everyone, for the good wishes.Jen: someone else wrote to me recently to say that on a smaller screen, the formatting is awful and the photos don’t show up. I haven’t heard from anyone else about this, but it’s worrying me. Not that I have any idea how to fix it…

  4. Happy Birthday. As far as size of the screen is concerned I was actually shocked that the quality and formatting were as good as they were when accessing your site on my Blackberry

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