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"It's the Ideas, Stupid", Derby Buzz, and Handles

I was reading an article about an SXSW panel which was focused on big data and marketing through digital mediums. The panelists were political marketers.

The gist of it: Although people like to give credit for "big data" and digital marketing for political victories (in this case, 2008's election where it received effusive praise from the mainstream press),  unless you have a message, it's all pretty useless.

The panelists talked about this cycle and the Jeb Bush campaign (who had the ultimate digital strategy and tons of money), versus the Sanders and Trump campaigns. As most know, Sanders' campaign has been fueled by the grassroots and Trump's is similar. It would be completely foolish to give any credit to digital marketing in one case, considering Trump himself (not likely) or his group sometimes tweets out, and then has to delete some bizarre things.

Both men have a message that is resonating. Both men's digital marketing and 'big data' arm are a method to get out that message, but clearly aren't even remotely responsible for their poll success thus far.

I think this is important for horse racing - especially those in shedrows - to understand. There is a faction in any business who believes "getting your name out there" is real marketing; many companies who embark on branding spend do it for internal morale for this reason. But for real efficacy, it's about ideas, and a strong digital and big data plan is simply closing the deal.

So, videos are like this are wonderful and should never be not encouraged, but without a message and pipeline their effectiveness is muted.

From Marty McGee:
This surprises me. The favorites all seem to be sound and ready, and there are some interesting horses. Plus, we just had a Triple Crown winner stoking the fires for the most popular season in horse racing. OK, I am a little stumped. Are you?

A harness racing pop quiz, with some items that might be of interest to you as bettors.

Sid Fernando tells me the $400,000 yearling price for Tampa Bay Derby winner Destin was the 3rd highest for Giant Causeway of 41. With so many people wanting Derby horses, the price still seems a little low, to my untrained eye. A sibling like Creative Cause who was precocious, along with a pedigree that can run all day is a flashing billboard. Seems like someone would've bid that to the stratosphere after selling 4,000 shares of AAPL. But, WDIK.

Speaking of the Tampa Bay Derby, handle was through the roof, at around $12M. Meanwhile, Big Cap day was down and a little blech. Florida tracks continue to show some moxy in this environment and there's no way around that.

If it was another Derby points era and in April Songbird was eligible to run in the Derby, and looked like a solid 5-2 shot, would they go? I think so. It'd be hard to pass up.

I was glued to last evening's Men's Curling final, because the game was so damned interesting. In one end, the permutations, strategy and game theory was so difficult it made my head hurt. Even the announcers seemed to make mistakes and not be able to think more than one shot ahead. This game is incredibly difficult to understand, hard to learn, has no clock, and seems slow paced. Why, at its peak, do 2 million people watch it in Canada? It's not because we all did it in grade school (we did not, we play hockey and baseball) or it's some sort of maple syrup rite of passage. It's watched because it is so cerebral. There's a lesson in there for horse racing.

I went back - out of curiosity - and looked at my exacta ROI, year over year. I know one thing, without rebate, I have zip, zero, nada, no chance to ever beat California's 22.68% takeout on two horse bets.  Me not taking even one exacta there since 2010 was not some principled stand against a takeout hike - although that was the catalyst - it was self-preservation.

There's a big drug scandal in sports in Russia and none of their athletes hit the board in the biathlon (that's where they shoot guns, ski and I think bake a cake .... not sure about the last one) where they usually dominate. Don't get mad at trainers, owners and bettors who comment when they see similar happen from time to time in horse racing.  

Have a great day everyone.



Comments

Ron said…
My two main adws didn't offer the derby future to my knowledge. I looked but couldn't find it. I liked a horse at a big price and bet the futures for the first time in 15 yrs and bit the bullet and made a bet with TS. I do feel guilty about that