Have you seen the RCI's recent push to change the narrative on drugs and racing? The story they tell is accurate, and has been for some time. However, it is super-difficult to change a narrative, when the public believes a different one that has been passed down, generation to generation. Find me a movie about a racetrack, and I am pretty sure the storyline will include a drugged horse.
Conversely, if you ask the general public if baseball players "were all juicers" ten or twelve years ago, or even today for that matter, the answer would probably be no, despite the headlines. Ted Williams, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were on cereal boxes, and baseball was lily-white. That was the narrative. Today, after steroid scandals in that sport, people believe the testing is good, they are on top of it, and players are playing clean. It's something the general public wants to believe about their beloved sport. So believe they do.
Yes, 0.015% of tests come back bad in racing, whereas back in 2005 for these sports:
WADA-accredited laboratories reported 482 positive samples for cyclists
in 2005. Baseball was second with 390 positives, while soccer was third
with 343. Track and field - the most tested sport - was fourth with 342.
also had the highest percentage of positive tests, with 3.78 per cent
out of 12,751 samples, followed by baseball (3.69 per cent out of
10,580) and boxing (3.41 per cent of 2,433) and triathlon (3.41 per cent
of 2,170). Track and field had 1.67 per cent positives out of 20,464
Recently, with several high profile riders getting nabbed for blood doping (or eating bad meat according to some), cycling's perception is probably approaching racings. They have some work to do.
What should racing do to change the perception? According to marketing experts we should be doing exactly what the RCI is doing - spreading the word the best we can about testing procedures. In tandem, I think making sure new undetectable drugs, and those who use them (the real scourge, because these people win races and get more and more horses from Sgt. Schultz horse owners), are expunged from racing as soon as possible is another good angle.
One major note of caution, and people like Seth Godin have spoken about it: It can take a generation or more to change an ingrained perception. So no matter how hard we work, don't expect things to change overnight.
Sinking marketing money directly into the horseplayer by seeding pools is effective, in both theory and practice In Ontario and elsewher...
One of life's many mysteries on gambling twitter is the Jackpot Bet. Oftentimes people like @shottakingtime, echoed by others, will pos...
Yesterday we wrote about some (many?) inside the business who don't quite understand what we bettors do each day to try and scratch som...
There's something going on in horse racing today , but I have not really followed it. Instead, I've been thinking about two words we...
Innovation and horse racing. Put together, the two of them elicit feverish reaction in this sport. One one side you have the customers, alon...
Unless you are off the twitter grid (God bless you), you've no doubt witnessed the feud of the month(s) between ITP and some public raci...