Planes, Trains, and ABRVs

Earlier this month, the vehicle with the catchy moniker hit to the road to kick off its 2012 campaign. The ABRV (get it? ABR + RV?) headed to Austin, Texas, where it, along with the ABR brand ambassadors, would set up shop at SXSW, the centerpiece of a major fan outreach initiative funded in large part by The Jockey Club. (Full story on this at Forbes.)

I guess it’s a fairly bad reflection on me as a writer that I just assumed that the ambassadors and the ABRV would go hand-in-hand…or butt-in-seat…or something like that. That the ambassadors would actually travel in the RV to the myriad exciting destinations on their itinerary, like SXSW and the Florida Derby and the Belmont and the ESPYs.

But, as it turns out, the ambassadors aren’t actually spending a lot of time in the ABRV. A couple of them tweeted earlier today about their flights to and arrival in south Florida…picked up at Miami Airport by their trusty RV, which apparently cruised south from its Atlanta base (the vehicle resides in Atlanta, I learned today) to pick them up.


At least the initiative’s prodigious budget was saved the cost of ground transport.

According to Stephan Panus, the NTRA’s vice president of communications, the ambassadors are based in Lexington, and “for purposes of efficiency and travel logistics,” they will use the ABRV for some travel (Keeneland and the Kentucky Derby, presumably) and fly to others. “Upon arriving in each destination city,” wrote Panus in an e-mail, “the ambassadors will spend Wednesday – Saturday traveling to targeted locations on the ABRV.”

There’s already been at least one sighting near Gulfstream Park.


So…ground transport expenses saved, but no savings on accommodations.

If you’re in the Hallandale area and you want to check out the ABRV for yourself, here’s a partial list of the ambassadors’ Florida Derby week destinations, as provided by America’s Best Racing:

Wednesday, March 27:  Happy Hour at the Shops at Midtown in the heart of Coconut Grove, 4:00 -10:00 pm.

Thursday, March 28:  Social Media Lunch at Gulfstream Park with 15 Social Media VIPS, noon; Green Street in Coconut Grove, 3:00 – 6:00.

Friday, March 29: Backside tours at Gulfstream Park with 15-20 Young Influencer VIPS, 6 a.m.; breakfast at Gulfstream with “young influencers,” 7:30 a.m.; the Clevelander in Miami Beach, 5 -11 pm.

Saturday, March 30: Florida Derby after-party by the bus and tiki area.

As for me, lesson learned about asking questions and not assuming, because we all know how that turns out.

One thought on “Planes, Trains, and ABRVs

  1. I have to be honest. I thought this was supposed to be a tour. Even Paulick does a bus tour. I consider this a #FAIL in understanding…at least have someone on the bus at all times documenting the journey. It’s about the journey and those stories, not necessarily the destination. My time on music tours is just that, the shows have their own life, but the journey to get to those shows have their own life.

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