On the surface, and for regular horse fans and bettors, this is pretty basic - Help aftercare with a touch of a button. Great idea.What message does "racing" think it's sending when every winning ticket that's inserted into tote machines on track, the user is asked to make a donation to aftercare? I was surprised at this experience at SAR last w/e. Essentially forcing customers to think about this issue.— o_crunk (@o_crunk) July 30, 2018
If we slap on the critical thinking hat and look a few rungs below the top of the ladder, it becomes a little more problematic.
If you're at the track for the very first time and see this, your response might be different.
"They don't have a plan to take care of these horses when they retire? What kind of business would do that?"
If you're a politician out for a stroll that is unaware of the size of some of the tax breaks, or gaming subsidies, you might say, "I have to find out how much they're getting from the public, because some of it should be used for aftercare."
If you're more of a casual fan, you might be introduced to the topic and look into it more and more. You know an owner of the three paid $900,000 at the OBS for this colt, and you start to wonder why the horse ends up going to Mexico a couple of years later.
Jonah Berger wrote extensively on this topic in a book called Contagious. When people are alerted to something they were unaware of (or assumed was being taken care of) it has a very big influence on them. It causes them to learn about the problem, rather than the solution, and if the problem doesn't make sense to them, it could do the opposite of what's intended.
I like the idea of being able to give $20 or whatever to aftercare. I drop money in the jar each time I go to the track. And maybe I am the proper audience for this tactic. But I know I'm not the only audience.
Have a great Monday everyone.