Taking it one step further, what else could racing be doing? If there was that central office, or if things like the RDSP in Ontario were passed, this might be easier because it would be funded. We don't have that of course. But I think we can still look at a few angles for some of our events that might be cost-effective.
In the 1000 channel universe, reality television is the new norm. Discovery Network, HGTV, Do it yourself, History Channel; you know all the culprits. Even network TV is littered with reality shows. No, this is not another cry for a horse racing reality show, but for a presence in the space.
Reality shows work because people watch them, but they also work because they are amazingly cheap, and there is alternative forms of revenue for them to add to the sale.
Coke pays big money to have their glasses displayed on American Idol, for example. On NBC's The Biggest Loser, turkey, zip-loc bags, diet supplements and many other products are paid for and promoted.
No one is saying we should pay big cash to be on these mainstream shows, because it does not fit; not even in the least does it make sense really. But how about some other ideas?
|Photo Credit - Shooter Images|
There are some cheaper avenues though, aren't there?
On Ice Pilots NWT, the Stanley Cup was recently flown around the Northwest Territories and it was the focus of the entire show, and the weeks lead-up to the episode. This is not unlike the Olympic Flame marketing discussed on R2. It brands the Cup.
What about flying people into the NWT on this airline for a Kentucky Derby party and having it covered in an episode, right down to the ice-filled mint juleps? It's freezing cold, it's fish out of water, it brings the event to people in a unique way, and it is cost-effective.
Brew Masters is another show which offers some neat branding possibles (although it appears the show has recently been canceled). In the show they created custom beers for companies, and featured the process and the meetings, not unlike American Chopper.
How about them brewing a Breeders Cup or Breeders Crown beer to be sold at the event and stoke some branding?
Just today in fact we have a little bit of this happening with Derby contender Mucho Macho Man. Superterrific was on this via twitter long ago.
I am sure you can think of dozens of other possible avenues.
Rome was not built in a day and I can tell you as a web marketer that works on branding, good vibes do not happen overnight. But it does work, if done right. We need to see more of it from racing, in my opinion. It takes planning, creativity and a little bit of cash; nothing more than that.