In August of 2011 at its annual Round Table conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, the Jockey Club presented the findings of a McKinsey study it commissioned on the state of Thoroughbred racing in the United States. Titled “Driving sustainable growth for Thoroughbred racing and breeding,” the report focused on a variety of negative indicators for the sport and offered suggestions for how to remediate its image and expand its audience.
Horse racing has arguably always attracted a, shall we say, mature crowd; even in the days when racing rivaled baseball in popularity, photographs of crowded racetracks reveal throngs of middle-aged men, not of young adults–unsurprisingly, perhaps, as an older demographic arguably has both more leisure time and discretionary income to spend on betting.
To combat that trend, the Jockey Club and its marketing arm, America’s Best Racing (“a multi-media new fan development and awareness-building platform”), have made a concerted effort over the last year to market the sport to a 20-something crowd. A recent initiative is the ABRV, about to embark on a months-long marketing tour with six “brand ambassadors,” selected from 150 video applicants via a search conducted by Cornett Integrated Media.
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