Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wow, Actually Targeting a Willing Demographic?

Ten, twelve, maybe even fifteen years ago gamblers were often saying to racing that they are the market, but they are not giving them what they want. Over that similar window of time, and even before that, racing was steadfastly married to marketing to the masses - trying to get on mass market television, showing human interest stories about a girl and a horse, and so on.

This week something popped up that finally makes sense. Using the gambling market as the target for racing. In Europe, the Poker Channel is covering one hour of racing a night.

The Poker Channel also announces its first ever live horse-racing coverage, which airs for one hour every evening from a selection of leading US racetracks including Philadelphia Park, Hawthorne and Tampa Bay. Racing coverage is broadcast live on the Channel in all markets except the UK and Ireland.

The target demographic is not people at home in the afternoon on a Saturday with busy lives, who would not know a superfecta from superman. They are bettors who 1) Have online poker accounts 2) Know gambling 3) Bet thousands of dollars a year on sports and other games to try and make money and 4) Are prequalified gamblers who are willing to learn about other games to play.

There are a ton of specialty channels world-wide who are screaming for content. Gambling TV in Canada, several in Europe. What if racing actually spent some cash developing gambling content for these networks instead of spending money to get a race shown on National TV that no one ends up watching? Google has proven that prequalified, targeted marketing is the future and the present, so what if we finally followed that example, instead of being shackled to old thinking? Who knows, something wacky might happen..... some people might actually bet.


malcer said...

Funny that I learn about a German Thoroughbred TV show from a Canadian harness blog. Thanks.

I'll try to watch tonight's program and review it on my blog (will keep you informed).

Superfecta said...

I put together a presentation on this very topic for the NTRA Marketing Summit (but since I had a real work thing to attend instead and couldn't go in person, I'm not sure it got much traction).

I also know of a book currently in the works to introduce poker players to the track - want to bet no racing industry publisher will take it on?

dana said...

Very interesting & excellent news!

We'll definitely be targeting existing sports gamblers and poker players among other potential racing fan demographics beyond the sports fan when we launch the HRF fan education site.

I personally find it short sighted that when the industry does to try to target potential new fans that they tend to go for sports fans. Sure, there's some potential there, but you'd think the low hanging fruit would be the "pre-qualified" demo of gamblers.

I have no idea what the take-out is in other forms of gambling, but maybe that has something to do with it. If our take-out is notably higher than sports betting and/or poker it could be perceived as a waste of time/money to try to get those folks into the fold.

malcer said...

Here's the review. In a nutshell: quite some potential, destroyed by one fatal flaw. On the plus side, the flaw can be rectified easily enough.

That Blog Guy said...

This is truly a great idea and wish it well.

In a slight change to the subject at hand, I at times feel that racing forgets the gambler is not just a customer, they are the employers. After all, without gambling who would be paying the salaries. That being said, there is no one out there representing gamblers when it comes to making the rules.

Look at the lack of a fair start rule in the states. I have on my blog a link to the latest example of the lunancy of not having a fair start rule. With stupidity like this we chase gamblers away.

Anonymous said...


You know what I think racing forgets more than us gamblers being the employers?
How about the fact that we are FANS! and that we truly care what happens to the sport and the direction it takes...

best regards,


Pull the Pocket said...

thanks for the review malcer.

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