Advertising Firm Says Table Games, Marketing to Dead Can Save Racing
By TSH Staff
Monday, June 21
The Serial Horseplayer commissioned marketing firm Leonard, Papas, Ringo, and Manilli to come up with new ways to market the sport of horse racing, as the NTRA and tracks has failed miserably to garner new fans over the last decade.
The marketing firm came up with a three tiered plan to move horse racing into the mainstream.
"The first step," said general partner Van Manilli, "is to market to one of the biggest segments of what was once the backbone of horse racing, and that is fans that are dead."
"There are millions of horse racing fans six feet under that we need to reach, and there are probably dozens more laying around the massive empty grandstands at tracks like Churchill Downs and Aqueduct we need to reach out to."
Manilli continued, "Our computer models are showing that horse racing fans are dying off at a rate four times higher than baseball or football fans. That rate is much higher if we exclude Philadelphia fans, who have a tendency to drink themselves to death."
While some say the death rate among horse racing fans is attributed to old age, the study offers a bleaker picture.
"What we have found," Manilli stated, "is that many horseplayers are dying from boredom, a lethal combination of short fields and too much racing over fake tracks."
"We also have anecdotal evidence that more people jump out windows during TVG's :58 Flat than any other sports program on television, including Rome is Burning or The Sports Reporters."
The second step to getting more fans to the track is to add table games.
"The tracks think slots are the answer," Manilli said. "But our research show table games are the way to go."
"The average horse racing fan is now between the age of 63 and deceased, and for those fans poker and blackjack are too fast paced. "
"Our studies show we need to add Mahjong tables to tracks," he concluded. "This ancient Chinese game is still very popular among women in the demographic markets we are trying to reach."
"If you have these 70-80 year old ladies bringing their tiles to the track for some action, the men will certainly follow."
The third step the marketing firm recommends is for the NTRA to get sponsorships with better demographics.
"Right now, the NTRA Advantage plan offers deals with John Deere, Office Depot, and Toshiba," Manilli said. "Where is the relationship with Depends, Viagra, Jitterbug or Hoveraround Power Chairs?"
The study shows the NTRA needs to revamp their marketing strategies, which have fallen quite short in recent years, including their "Go Baby Go" slogan.
With the advent of mobile wagering, one slogan the marketing firm is pushing to the NTRA is "I've fallen and I can't get up, but I can still bet the early double from Belmont Park using my Jitterbug phone."