Fixing What Isn't Broken

There was a rumor going around that NYRA had a "big announcement" coming. Well, it was announced today that purses were upped and some races were shuffled around for Belmont Day. (sorry bettors, nothing for you from slots, like you may have been hoping).

The first reaction in board rooms around racing is "great idea, a big day for us to watch and get excited about". Inside baseball folks live for this stuff. It's warm and fuzzy and energizes us as fans - who are not the target market, but it's who racing appeases more often than not.

However, it smacks of bean counting to little old me.

As Godin wrote awhile back, what we're seeing is a tweak. 
  •  The reason is that these [corporate benchmarks and doing something to do something] numbers demand that you start tweaking. You can tweak a website or tweak an accounts payable policy and make numbers go up, which is great, but it's not going to fundamentally change your business.
They've tweaked Belmont Day to be a bigger day, with the hopes of gaining a bit more revenue. This is nothing new, or groundbreaking.

What makes it curious, is that Belmont Day is a day people already watch and bet - and further to that, if there is a Triple Crown on the line already has no-cost marketing.

Belmont Day is not broken.

Here are the google searches the last ten years for the Belmont Stakes.

It's actually (when you filter out Triple Crown years) growing.

With all those other stakes, all that slot money, all the possibilities, a virtual 365 day carte blanche, and all the assorted problems in horse racing, this is the best idea they could come up with; a tweak of an already branded raceday, that's entwined in racing's fabric?

For those of us who want slots money - which will likely be taken away soon - used on bold initiatives to create new markets, new days, used to test new ideas, to help racing move forward in some tangible way, this is truly disappointing.


Anonymous said...

hear,hear...... a voice in the wilderness that looks below the surface.

Anonymous said...

Six million purses on the under card - thank god for slots

Anonymous said...


"Fixing what isn't broken" is the mantra for most of the dimwits who keep spewing forth dumb ideas like takeout reduction, as a suggestion for how to repair racing to its former plateaus.

Takeout is the same as its always been, and thus it simply can... not... BE any part of the difference between racing old and new.


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